THE UNITY OF THE BOOK
WILLIAM HENRY GREEN, D.D., LL.D.
OF ORIENTAL AND OLD TESTAMENT LITERATURE IN
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS
COPYRIGHT, 1895, BY
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS
[Digitally prepared by Dr. Ted Hildebrandt
PRINTING AND BOOKBINDING COMPANY
ALL tradition, from whatever source it is derived,
whether inspired or uninspired, unanimously affirms that
the first five books of the Bible were written by one man
and that man was Moses. There is no counter-testimony
in any quarter. From the predominant character of their
contents these books are commonly called the Law. All
the statutes contained in them are expressly declared to
have been written by Moses or to have been given by the
LORD to Moses. And if the entire law is his, the history,
which is plainly preparatory for, or subsidiary to, the
law, must be his likewise.
The Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch has, how-
ever, been challenged in modern times in the name of
the higher criticism on two distinct and independent
grounds. One is that of the document hypothesis in its
various forms and modifications, which occupies itself
with the narrative portion of the Pentateuch, and on
the ground of literary criteria claims that this is not the
product of anyone writer, but that it has been compiled
from different documents, which are clearly distinguish-
able in diction, style, conception, plan, and design, and
which belong to widely separated ages. The other is
that of the development hypothesis, which has attached
itself to the preceding, but deals characteristically with a
different portion of the Pentateuch and employs a differ-
ent style of argument. Its field of operation is the laws,
which it claims were not and could not have been given by
at anyone period in the history of
It professes to trace the growth of this legislation from
simple and primitive forms to those which are more
complex and which imply a later and more developed
civilization. And it confidently affirms that these laws
could not have been committed to writing in their pres-
ent form for many centuries after the age of Moses.
These hypotheses are discussed in a general way in my
"Higher Criticism of the Pentateuch," where the fallacy
and inconclusiveness of the reasoning by which they are
defended and the falsity of the conclusions deduced from
them are exposed. In order to a complete refutation of
these hypotheses it is necessary to show still further by
a detailed examination their inapplicability to, and in-
compatibility with, the phenomena of the Pentateuch,
and that, so far from solving the question of its origin,
they are destitute of any real basis; they find no support
in the Pentateuch itself, but are simply the creations of
learned ingenuity and a lively imagination.
The present treatise occupies itself exclusively with
the document hypothesis, and aims to prove that the
book of Genesis is not a compilation from different docu-
ments, but is the continuous work of a single writer.
The demonstration that this hypothesis has no foothold
in Genesis effectually overturns it for the rest of the
Pentateuch, or, if the critics please, the Hexateuch. It
took its rise in Genesis; the most plausible arguments
in its favor are drawn from that book; and the verdict
rendered by that book substantially settles the case for
those that follow. It is on the basis of the assumption
that it is firmly established in Genesis that it is carried
through the Hexateuch. If that assumption is proved
to be false, the hypothesis collapses entirely.
What is here proposed is a critical study of Genesis
from beginning to end, chapter by chapter and section
by section. The history of critical opinion is given in
full in the more important passages, and is throughout
traced sufficiently to place before the reader the various
views that have been entertained, together with the
grounds adduced on their behalf. Pains have been taken
to carefully collate and frankly state whatever has been
urged in defence of the hypothesis by its ablest and
most eminent advocates on each successive passage; and
this is then subjected to a thorough and candid exami-
nation. The reader will thus be put in possession of the
reasons for and against it to the best of the writer's abil-
ity, and can form his own conclusion. The writer, while
aiming at entire fairness in presenting both sides of the
argument, does not conceal his own assured conviction
of the overwhelming preponderance in favor of the faith
of ages and against the divisive hypothesis of modern
As the alleged criteria of the different documents are
most fully and clearly stated by Dr. Dillmann, his pres-
entation of them is followed throughout the book, unless
where some other authority is expressly mentioned.
To avoid constant circumlocution P, J, E, and D are
frequently spoken of as though they were the real en-
tities that the critics declare them to be, and passages
are said to belong to one or the other because critics so
affirm. Such language adopted for brevity must not be
understood as an admission that the documents so called
In replying to the objections of Bishop Colenso in
1863 the author ventured the suggestion that he might
at some future time prepare a work on the criticism of
the Pentateuch. Since that time the positions then
taken by leading critics have been abandoned by them-
selves, and their whole conception of the origin and con-
stitution of the Pentateuch has been revolutionized.
The complex character of the Pentateuchal question
and the tedious minuteness required in its thorough ex-
amination doubtless supply the reason why so many
critics are content with repeating or building upon the
conclusions of their predecessors without investigating
for themselves the soundness of the basis on which these
conclusions rest. The author frankly confesses for him-
self that, while he felt at every point the weakness and
unsatisfactory character of the arguments of the divisive
critics, he was long deterred by the complexity of the
task from undertaking to prepare such a treatise as the
nature of the case required. He might have continued
still to shrink from it but for the proposal, in 1888,
by his friend Dr. W. R. Harper, of an amicable dis-
cussion of the subject in the columns of the Hebraica.
The kindly proposal was accepted, though with some
hesitation lest the cause whose defence was thus under-
taken might suffer from unskilful advocacy. It seemed,
however, to involve less responsibility and to be a less
onerous undertaking to engage in such a discussion,
piecemeal, in the columns of a quarterly journal, at
the solicitation of a friend, than to set myself to the
preparation of a work on the entire subject of my own
motion. The discussion thus begun was continued at
intervals, step by step, through the whole of the narrative
portion of the Pentateuch. Though convinced at the
outset of the unsoundness in the main of the arguments
urged on behalf of the critical partition of the Penta-
teuch by its principal defenders, I did not know but
there might be some fire where there was so much
smoke, and some possible foundation for the positive
assertions in which the critics are so prone to indulge.
The discussion was accordingly begun with no absolute
prepossession on my part for or against the existence of
Pentateuchal documents. One thing was clear to my
mind from the beginning, that the Pentateuch as inspired
of God was a true and trustworthy record; everything
else was left to be determined by the evidence which it
should supply. As the discussion proceeded I found my-
self unable to discover sufficient reason anywhere for the
assumption that the Pentateuch was a compilation from
pre-existing documents; and by the time that my task
was completed I had settled down in the assured belief
that the so-called documents were a chimera, and that
the much-vaunted discovery of Astruc was no discovery
at all, but an ignis fatuus which has misled critics ever
since into a long and weary and fruitless search through
fog and mire, that might better be abandoned for a
forward march on terra firma.
The discussion in the Hebraica prepared the way for
the volume now offered to the public, in which the
attempt is made to treat the question with more thor-
oughness than was possible in the limitations necessarily
imposed in a crowded quarterly. The ground there
traversed has been carefully re-examined and explored
at afresh in the light shed upon it by the ablest minds on
either side of the controversy. The prominence ac-
corded to German scholars is due to the fact that the
have been the chief laborers in the field. The various
partition hypotheses, after Astruc's conjecture, as he
himself termed it, had pointed out the way, have been
originated and elaborated by German scholars. And if
they have failed to put them upon a solid basis, it is but
from no lack of learning, ingenuity, or perseverance, but
much from the inherent weakness of the cause.
It is hoped that this volume may prove a serviceable
text-book for the study of criticism; that it may meet
the wants of theological students and ministers who de-
sire to acquaint themselves thoroughly with a subject of
such prominence and importance; and that it may like-
wise prove helpful to intelligent laymen who, omitting
the discussion of Hebrew words that are necessarily in-
troduced, may be led by it to a better understanding of
the book of Genesis in its connection and the mutual
relation of its several parts, and be helped in the solu-
tion of difficulties and the removal of objections. It
stands on the common ground, dear alike to all who re-
gard the Pentateuch as the word of God through Moses,
whether Jew or Christian, Catholic or Protestant, clergy-
man or layman. If by the divine blessing it shall be
made to contribute in any measure to the elucidation or
defence of this part of Holy Scripture, or to the confir-
mation of the faith of any, or to the relief of such as
may have been perplexed or troubled by anxious doubts
or misgivings, the author will be profoundly grateful to
Him to whom all praise is due.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE BOOK OF GENESIS, 1
The creation of the heavens and the earth (Gen. i. 1-ii. 3),
words indicative of P, 4.
THE GENERATIONS OF THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH (CH. II. 4-IV.) 7
Primitive state and fall of man (ch. ii. 4-iii. 24), 7; false critical
methods, 7; no duplicate account of the creation,
9; no discrepancies, 20; words and phrases indicative of J,
29 ; mutual relation of this and the preceding section, 33.
Cain and Abel--Cain's descendants (ch. iv.), 36; marks of J, 39.
THE GENERATIONS OF ADAM (CH. V. 1- VI. 8), 42
Adam to Noah (ch. v.), 42; the Cainite and Sethite gen-
ealogies, 43; duplicate statements, 47; primeval chronology,
49; marks of P, 50. The Sons of God and the Daughters of
Men (ch. vi. 1-8), 51; marks of J, 61.
THE GENERATIONS OF NOAR (CH. VI. 9-IX. 29), 65
The flood (ch. vi. 9-ix. 17), 65; the critical partition of
ch. vi. 5-ix. 17, 66; J not continuous, 71; P not contin-
uous, 78; no superfluous repetitions, 83 ; the divine names,
88; no discrepancies, 90; difference of diction, 94; marks
of P, 96; marks of J, 116; numerical correspondence, 121;
the Assyrian flood tablets? 122, Noah after the flood (ch.
ix. 18-29), 127.
THE GENERATIONS 0F THE SONS 0F NOAH. (CH. X. l-XI. 9), 131
Origin of nations (ch. x.), 131 ; marks of P, 141 ; marks
of J, 143.
THE GENERATIONS 0F SHEM (CH. XI. 10-26), 146
Shem to Abram (ch. xi. 10-26), 146.
THE GENERATIONS OF TERAH (Cx. XI. 27-XXV. 11), 148
Preliminary remarks, 148; the divine names, 151; the crit-
ical partition, 154; no discrepancies, 161. The family of
Terah (ch. xi. 27-32), 168. The call of Abram and his jour-
neys (ch. xii.), 171; critical partition of vs. 1-9, 172; marks
of P, 175;
marks of J, 181. Abram in
of J, 185. Separation from
grounds of partition, 186; marks of P, 192; marks of J, 193.
nant of Jehovah (ch. xv.), 202. Birth of Ishmael (ch. xvi.),
208; marks of P, 213; marks of J, 215. Covenant sealed
by Abraham (ch. xvii.), 217; style of P, 226; marks of P,
231. Visit to Abraham and destruction of
236; marks of J, 240.
38), 246; marks of J, 250. Abraham with Abimelech, king
of Gerar (ch. xx.), 250; critical embarrassment, 250; diction
of ch. xx., 252; not referable to a distinct document, 254;
marks of E, 259. Birth of Isaac and dismissal of Ishmael (ch.
xxi. 1-21), 262; critical perplexity, 262; division impossible,
266 ; marks of P, 269; marks of J, 269; marks of E, 270.
276. Sacrifice of Isaac (ch. xxii. 1-19), 277; the critical par-
tition, 278; marks of E, 286; marks of R, 288; no proof of
separate documents, 290. Family of Nahor (ch. xxii. 20-24),
291; marks of J, 292. Death and burial of Sarah (ch. xxiii.),
293; marks of P, 296. Marriage of Isaac (ch. xxiv.), 298;
marks of J, 304. Conclusion of Abraham's life (ch. xxv.
1-11), 307; marks of P, 310.
THE GENERATIONS OF ISHMAEL (CH. XXV. 12-18), 312
Marks of P, 313.
THE GENERATIONS OF IsAAC (CH. XXV. 19-XXXV.), 314
Esau and Jacob (ch. xxv. 19-34), 314; marks of P, 320;
marks of J, 321. Isaac in Gerar and
1-33), 322; marks of J, 326. Jacob's blessing and depart-
ure (ch. xxvi. 34-xxviii. 9), 328; marks of P, 332; marks of
of J, 333; marks of E, 333. Jacob's dream (ch. xxviii.
10-22), 335; marks of J, 341; marks of E, 342. Jacob in
marks of J. 353; marks of E, 354. Jacob's return from
362; the covenant of Laban and Jacob, 365; the divine
names, 369; marks of P, 370; marks of E, 370. Meeting
of Jacob and Esau (ch. xxxii. 4-xxxiii. 17), 372; Jacob
wrestling with the angel, 377; no proof of a parallel narra-
tive, 380; the divine names, 380; marks of J, 381. The
rape of Dinah (ch. xxxiii 18-xxxiv.), 382; Jacob's arrival
in Shechem, 383; critical difficulties, 386; divergence of the
critics, 388; not composite, 398; marks of P, 402; marks
of J, 403.
of partition irrelevant, 411; conclusion of the section, 412.
THE GENERATIONS OF ESAtJ (CH. XXXVI.-XXXVII.1), 415
Opinions of critics, 415; unity of the chapter, 417 ; no dis-
crepancies, 420; no anachronism, 425.
THE GENERATIONS OF JACOB (CR. XXXVII. 2-L.), 430
The unity of plan, 430; lack of continuity in the docu-
ments, 434; the divine names, 434; diction and style, 435.
among critics, 437; grounds of partition, 447; marks of J,
450. The narrative of Judah and Tamar (ch. xxxviii), 452;
no lack of order, 452; no anachronism, 454; marks of J,
455. Joseph is cast into prison (ch. xxxix.), 457; no dis-
crepancies, 457; the divine names, 459; marks of J, 462.
Dreams of the butler and baker (ch. xl.), 463; no discrep-
ancy, 464; no anachronism, 466; diction, 467. Pharaoh's
dreams (ch. xli.), 467; grounds of partition, 468. Journeys
of Jacob's sons to
ancy, 475; the divine names, 482; marks of J and E, 483.
Joseph makes himself known (ch. xlv.), 487; marks of E,
498; marks of E, 498; marks of P, 498. Settlement in
of J, 502.
Joseph's arrangements in
504; marks of E, 506; marks of J, 507; marks of P, 509. Jacob
charges Joseph and adopts his sons (ch. xlvii. 28-xlviii.
22), 510; marks of P, 518; marks of E, 518; marks of J,
519. Jacob's blessing and death (ch. xlix.), 519; no vati-
cinium post eventum, 521; marks of P, 526. The burial of
Jacob and death of Joseph (ch.l.), 526; marks of J, 529;
marks of E, 530.
Grounds of partition, 531; repetitions and discrepancies,
532; the divine names, 538; diction, style, and conception,
548; continuity of Genesis, 554; chasms in the documents,
556; when and where produced, 560. Summary of the argu-
I. THE DIVINE NAMES, 573
II. STYLE, CONCEPTION AND THE RELATION OF PASSAGES, 573
III. CHARACTERISTIC WORDS AND PHRASES, 574
IV. THE ENGLISH EQUIVALENTS, 579
WORKS REFERRED TO IN THIS
*** These works are here arranged in the order of their publication.
The reader can thus see at a glance where each belongs in the history of
Matthew Poole, Annotations upon the Holy Bible, First Edition, 1683.
Astruc, Conjectures sur leg Memoires Originaux, dont il paroit, que
Moyse s'est servi pour composer le Livre de la Genese, 1753.
Harmer, Observations on Divers Passages of Scripture, Second Edi-
Ilgen, Die Urkunden des ersten Buchs von Moses in ihrer Urgestalt,
Vater, Commentar uber den Pentateuch, Theil i, ii., 1802; Theil iii,
Eichhorn, Einleitung in das Alte Testament, Dritte Ausgabe, 1803;
Vierte Ausgabe, 1823.
DeWette, Beitrage zur Einleitung in das Alte Testament, Erstes Band-
chen, 1806; Zweiter Band, 1807.
Ewald, Die Komposition der Genesis kritisch untersucht, 1823.
Gramberg, Libri Geneseos Secundum Fontes rite dignoscendos Adum-
bratio nova, 1828.
F. H. Ranke, Untersuchungen fiber den Pentateuch aus dem Gebiete
der hoheren Kritik, Erster Band, 1831; Zweiter Band, 1840.
Hengstenberg, Die Authentie des Pentateuches, Erster Band, 1836;
Zweiter Band, 1839.
Movers. Review of von Bohlen's Genesis in Zeitschrift fur Philosophie
und Katholische Theologie, 1836.
Havernick, Handbuch der historish-kritischen Einleitung in das Alte
Testament, Erster Theil, Zweite Abtheilung, 1837.
Tuch, Kommentar uber die Genesis, 1838; Zweite Aufiage, 1871.
Stahelin, Kritische Untersuchungen uber den Pentateuch, die Bucher
Josua, Richter, Samuels, und del Konige, 1843.
Kurtz, Die Einheit der Genesis, 1846.
Winer, Biblisches Realworterbuch, Dritte Aufiage, 1847.
Ewald, Jahrbucher del Biblischen Wissenchaft for 1851-52.
xvi WORKS REFERRED TO IN THIS VOLUME
Knobel, Die Genesis, 1852.
Delitzsch, Die Genesis, 1852, Dritte Ausgabe, 1860; Vierte Ausgabe,
1872. Neuer Commentar uber die Genesis, 1887.
Kurtz, Geschichte des Alten Bundes, Erster Band, Zweite Aufiage, 1853.
Hupfeld, Die Quellen der Genesis und die Art ihrer Zusammensetzung,
Biblical Researches in
Bohmer, Das Erste Buch der Thora, Ubersetzung seiner drei Quellen-
schriften und der Redactionszusatze mit kritischen, exegetischen,
historischen Erorterungen, 1862.
Noldeke, Untersuchungen zur Kritik des Alten Testaments, 1869. Merx,
Article on Dinah in Schenkel's Bibel-Lexikon, 1869.
Schrader, Editor of the "eighth thoroughly improved, greatly en-
larged and in part wholly transformed edition" of DeWette's
Lehrbuch der historisch-kritischen Einleitung in die kanonischen
und apokryphischen Bucher des Alten Testaments, 1869.
Kayser, Das vorexilische Buch der Urgeschichte Israels und seine
Erweiterungen, ein Beitrag zur Pentateuch-kritik, 1874.
George Smith, Translation of the flood tablets in his Assyrian Dis-
coveries, 1875; the Chaldean Account of Genesis, 1876; and Records
of the Past, vol. vii., 1876.
Wellhausen, Die Composition des Hexateuchs, in the Jahrbticher fur
Deutsche Theologie, 1876-1877; republished in Skizzen und
Vorarbeiten, Zweites Heft, 1885; and again in Die Composition des
Hexateuchs und der hist orischen Bucher des .Alten Testa. ments,
Kuenen, The Religion of Israel to the Fall of the Jewish State, trans-
lated by A. H. May, vol. i, 1874.
Dillmann, Die Genesis, first edition published as the third edition of
Knobel's Commentary, 1875; second edition (Knobel's fourth),
1882; third edition (Knobel's fifth), 1886.
Wellhausen, Geschichte Israels, 1878, republished as Prolegomena zur
Oort, The Bible for Learners, English translation, 1878.
Colenso, The Pentateuch and Book of Joshua critically examined,
Part Vii., 1879.
Reuss, Die Geschichte der Heiligen Schriften Alten Testaments, 1881.
Haupt, Der keilinschriftliche Sintfluthbericht, in Schrader's Die Keil-
inschriften und das Alte Testament, 1883.
WORKS REFERRED TO IN TH1S VOLUME xvii
Budde, Die Biblische Urgeschichte (Gen. i-xii 5), 1883.
Kuenen, An Historico-critical Inquiry into the Origin and Composi-
tion of the Hexateuch. Translated by P. H. Wicksteed, 1886.
Vatke, Historisch-kritische Einleitung in das Alte Testament, 1886.
Geschichte des Volkes
Kittel, Geschichte der Hebraer, 1888.
Harper, The Pentateuchal Question, in the Hebraica for 1888-1892.
Kautzsch und Socin, Die Genesis mit ausserer Unterscheidung der
Quellenschriften, 1888; Zweite Aufiage, 1891. Reproduced in
English as Genesis Printed in Colors, showing the original sources
from which it is supposed to have been compiled, with an intro-
duction by E. C. Bissell.
Cornill, Einleitung in das Alte Testament, 1891.
Driver, An Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament, 1891.
Strack, Die Genesis, 1892.
Kuenen, Gesammelte Abhandlungen zur Biblischen Wissenchaft.
Aus dem Hollandischen ubersetzt von K. Budde, 1894.
THE UNITY OF THE BOOK OF
THE BOOK OF GENESIS
THE history opens with an introductory section (ch.
i.-ii. 3), which declares how God in the beginning created
the heavens and the earth as the theatre upon which it
was to be transacted. This is followed by ten sections
of unequal length, which make up the rest of the book
of Genesis, and are introduced by titles of a uniform
pattern. These titles are as follows:
1. Gen. ii. 4. These are the generations of the heaven
and of the earth.
2. Gen. v. 1. This is the book of the generations of
3. Gen. vi. 9. These are the generations of Noah.
4. Gen. x. 1. These are the generations of the sons of
5. Gen. xi. 10. These are the generations of Shem.
6. Gen. xi. 27. These are the generations of Terah.
7. Gen. xxv. 12. These are the generations of Ish-
8. Gen. xxv. 19. These are the generations of Isaac.
9. Gen. xxxvi. 1. These are the generations of Esau.1
10. Gen. xxxvii. 2. These are the generations of
1 Repeated, ver. 9, for a reason to be explained when that
chapter comes under consideration.
2 THE BOOK OF GENESIS
These titles are designed to emphasize and render
more prominent and palpable an important feature of
the book, the genealogical character of its history. This
results from its main design, which is to trace the line of
descent of the chosen race from the beginning to the
point where it was ready to expand to a great nation,
whose future organization was already foreshadowed, its
tribes being represented in the twelve sons of Jacob, and
its tribal divisions in their children. The genealogies
contained in the book are not merely incidental or sub-
ordinate, but essential, and the real basis of the whole.
They are not to be regarded as addenda to the narrative,
scraps of information introduced into it; they constitute
the skeleton or framework of the history itself. They
are not separate productions culled from different sources,
and here inserted by the author as he found them. From
whatever quarters the materials may have been obtained
they were cast into their present form by the writer him-
self, as is evident from the uniformity of the construc-
tion of those relating to the chosen race on the one hand,
and those of alien races on the other, together with the
unbroken continuity of the former. These exhibit at
all being of one blood and sprung from one common
stock, and their separation from the rest of mankind for
a special divine purpose, God's gracious choice of them
to be his peculiar people until the time should arrive
for spreading the blessing of Abraham over all the
There is, accordingly, a regular series of genealogies of
like structure, or rather one continuous genealogy extend-
ing from Adam to the family of Jacob. This is inter-
rupted or suspended from time to time, as occasion re-
quires, for the sake of introducing or incorporating facts
of the history at particular points where they belong;
THE BOOK OF GENESIS 3
after which it is resumed again precisely at the same
point, and proceeds regularly as before until it reaches
its utmost limit, thus embracing the entire history with-
in itself. Thus, for example, the genealogy in ch. v.
states in identically recurring formulae the age of each
parent at the birth of his child, the number of years that
he lived subsequently, and the length of his entire life.
But when the name of Noah is reached, the record is,
ver. 32, "And Noah was five hundred years old; and
Noah begat Shem, Ham, and Japheth," three sons being
mentioned instead of one, as was uniformly the case be-
fore. And here the genealogy abruptly terminates with-
out the further statements that analogy would lead us
to expect, how long Noah lived after the birth of his
children, and how many years he lived in all. This is
not the end of a genealogical fragment, disconnected from
all that follows. It is merely interrupted for a time in
order to introduce the account of the deluge, which so
intimately concerned Noah and his three sons; after
which the missing members are supplied, and the series
resumed in substantially the same form as before (ix. 28,
29). Again, the genealogy continued in xi. 10 sqq. breaks
off (ver. 26) precisely as it had done before, by stating
the age of a father at the birth of his three sons. "And
Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and
and the fact of his death being postponed to ver. 32, in
all the order to introduce some facts respecting Terah and par-
ticularly respecting his sons, which had an important
bearing on the subsequent history. And the entire life
of Abraham is fitted into the next link of the genealogy:
his age at the birth of his son Isaac (xxi. 5), whom he
begat (xxv. 19), and his full age at the time of his death
(xxv. 7, 8).
4 THE BOOK OF GENESIS
THE CREATION OF THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH
(CH. I. 1-II. 3).
The critics assign this opening section of Genesis to P,
because of its unvarying use of Elohim, as well as on the
ground of its style and diction. They also include in
this section ii. 4a, which they regard as a summary state-
ment of its contents. This and the alleged difference of
style between this section and the next can best be con-
sidered hereafter. For the present it will be sufficient to
give attention to the diction. Dr. Dillmann adduces the
following words and expressions as indicative of P: Nymi
kind, species (vs. 11, 12, 21,24, 25); Cr,xAhA ty>aHa beast of the
earth (vs. 24, 25, 30); CrawA creep, swarm, bring forth abun-
dantly, and Wm,r, moving creature (vs. 20, 21); WmarA creep,
and Wm,r, creeping thing (vs. 21, 24-26, 28, 30); wbaKA subdue
(ver. 28); hlak;xA food (ver. 30); hv,q;mi gathering together, col-
lection (ver. 10); hbArAv; hrAPA be fruitful and multiply (vs. 22,
28) hbAqen;U rkAzA male and female (ver. 27); lyDib;hi divide (vs.
4, 6, 7, 14, 18); tUmD; likeness (ver. 26). .
The distribution of these words in the Hexateuch is instructive.
That which is rendered "likeness" occurs
besides in it only Gen. v. 1, 3, where it is used with ex-
press allusion to i. 26. "Subdue" occurs besides in the
Hexateuch only Num. xxxii. 22, 29 (a chapter in which,
according to the critics, the documents P, J, and E are
intermingled, and both of these verses contain what are
reckoned indications of JE), and Josh. xviii. 1, an iso-
lated verse in a JE paragraph. The rest of these words
and phrases occur nowhere else in Genesis, unless it be
in the account of the flood. And the reason why most
Q of them are to be found there is obvious. The different
classes of land animals brought into being at the creation
perished in the flood, and it is natural that they should
be mentioned in both cases; like mention is also made
THE CREATION (CH. I. 1-II. 3) 5
of "food" as necessary to life; the perpetuation of the
species leads to the reference to the sexes. The full
phrase, as used in Gen. i. "Be fruitful and multiply and
fill," or "replenish," only occurs again (ix. 1), in the
blessing pronounced upon mankind after the flood, which
was as appropriate as after the creation; the phrase "Be
fruitful and multiply" occurs besides only in application
to Abraham and his descendants, where it is equally in
place. Such of these words as occur elsewhere are found
only in the ritual law. "Food" and "kind" and differ-
ent sorts of animals are, as a matter of course, spoken of,
where direction is given in respect to what mayor may
not be eaten; and sex in like manner in prescribing the
animals to be offered in sacrifice, or the purifications at the
birth of children, or the rite of circumcision. "Divide"
does not occur in the narrative of the flood, but is found
again in the ritual law with reference to the distinctions
there made in regard to clean and unclean, holy and un-
holy or common, or separating to special functions or
purposes, or to cleavage in sacrifice. The word translated
"gathering together" is found but twice in the Hexateuch
apart from Gen. i., viz., Ex. vii. 19, Lev. xi. 36, where
collections of water are referred to, and nowhere else in
this sense in the entire Old Testament.
It is manifest from the foregoing that the occurrence
of these words is determined, not by the predilection of
a particular writer, but by the subject which calls for
their employment. They belong not to the characteris-
tics of a document, but are the common property of all
who use the language, and may be found whenever there
is occasion to describe the object denoted by them.
Their absence from all the paragraphs or clauses as-
signed by the critics to J or E is to be accounted for
precisely as their absence from every paragraph of P but
those designated above.
6 THE BOOK OF GENESIS
For a more detailed account of the usage of the words
common to the creation and flood, see under ch. vi.-ix.,
Marks of P.
Elohim is plainly the appropriate name for God
throughout this section, which regards the Most High as
working in nature and in the world at large. True, the
creative act may be ascribed to Jehovah (Ex. xx. 11),
thought to be conveyed is that
him out of the
ator of the world; but when the announcement to be
made simply is that the world had a divine creator, Elo-
him is the proper term, and is hence constantly used in
the account of the creation.
THE GENERATIONS OF THE HEAVENS AND THE
EARTH (CH. II. 4-IV.)
THE question to be considered is, Do these chapters
continue the narrative begun in the preceding section, or
do they introduce a new and independent narrative from
an altogether different source? The critics allege that
they stand in no relation to what goes before, that a new
beginning is here made, and that this account is taken
from another document, that of J. It is said that the
second chapter of Genesis cannot have been written by
the author of the fu'st chapter; for (1) it is a second ac-
count of the creation, and is superfluous for that reason;
(2) it differs from the first account, and is irreconcilable
with it; (3) the diction and style are different.
FALSE CRITICAL METHODS
The critics here bring into operation at the outset two
vicious methods, which characterize their whole course
of procedure and are the most potent instruments which
they employ in effecting the partition of the text.
The first is the arbitrary assumption that two different
parts of a narrative, relating to matters which are quite
distinct, are variant accounts of the same thing. It is
very easy to take two narratives or two parts of the
same narrative, which have certain points in common
8 GENERATIONS OF HEAVEN AND EARTH
but which really describe different transactions, and lay
them alongside of one another and point out the lack of
correspondence between them. The artifice of the crit-
ics consists in their identifying distinct things, and then
every divergence of the one from the other is claimed
as evidence that these are variant traditions, and that
these discrepant accounts cannot be by the same author;
they must have been taken from different documents.
Whereas, there is no mystery in the case and no occa-
sion for any such extraordinary conclusion. The simple
fact is that the writer has finished one part of his story
and has proceeded to another; and, as might be ex-
pected, he does not detail over again what he had just
The second of the vicious methods, which is continu-
ally practised by the divisive critics and is one of their
most effective weapons, also finds exemplification in the
chapters now under consideration. It is their constant
effort to create a discordance where none really exists.
Passages are sundered from their context, which eluci-
date and determine their meaning, and then any form of
expression which admits of a signification at variance
with what is stated elsewhere is seized upon and pressed
to the utmost and urged as a proof of diverse representa-
tions, requiring the assumption of different documents;
when, if it were only allowed to bear its natural sense in
the connection in which it stands, all appearance of dis-
crepancy will disappear. There is nothing for which
the critics seem to have such an aversion as a harmoniz-
ing interpretation; and very naturally, for it annuls all
their work. And yet it is the plain dictate of common
sense that the different parts of the same instrument
should be interpreted in harmony, provided the language
employed will in fairness admit of such an interpreta-
The simple observance of this obvious rule, together
with the principle before referred to, that things which
are really distinct should be treated as distinct, will not
only relieve all the critical doubts and perplexities rela-
tive to the chapters now before us, but the great major-
ity of those which are raised in the rest of Genesis and
author; of the Pentateuch as well.
NO DUPLICATE ACCOUNT OF THE CREATION
That the second chapter does not contain another ac-
count of the creation additional to that in the first can
be readily shown.
And in the first place it does not profess to be an ac-
count of the creation, but something additional to and of
their different from it. It is in express terms declared to be
a L in the sequel of the narrative of the creation. The second sec-
tion is introduced by a special descriptive title (ver. 4a) :
"These are the generations of the heavens and of the
earth when they were created." It is very important to
understand the precise meaning of these words and the
purpose for which they are introduced. There has been
much dispute both as to the proper connection of this
clause and how it is to be understood.
Is it a subscription to the preceding section, setting
forth its contents? Or is it introductory to the following
section and descriptive of its contents? It can be shown
beyond question that it is the heading of the section that
follows, and is here introduced to announce its subject.
The formula "These are the generations," etc., occurs
ten times in the book of Genesis, and in every instance
but the present indisputably as the title of the section to
which it is prefixed. The history is parcelled into" the
generations of Adam" (v. 1), "the generations of Noah "
(vi. 9), "the generations of the sons of Noah" (x. 1),
10 GENERATIONS OF HEAVEN AND EARTH
"the generations of Shem" (xi. 10), "the generations of
Terah" (ri. 27), and so on to the end of the book.
Each of these titles introduces a new section of the
history, longer or shorter as the case may be, and an-
nounces the subject treated in that section. The book
of Genesis after the first or preliminary chapter is thus,
in the plan of its author, divided into ten distinct sections,
to each of which he has given a separate heading of this
uniform pattern. They are called "generations" be-
cause the, framework of the entire history is a genealogy,
which is traced in a direct line from Adam to Jacob and
his posterity. All the facts that are related and the
statements made are introduced between the links of this
genealogy. The line of descent is arrested at the proper
point, the narratives belonging there are inserted, and
then the line of descent is taken up again just where it
left off and proceeds as before. Divergent lines are
traced, as occasion arises, to a sufficient distance, and are
then dropped, the writer uniformly reverting to the main
line of descent, that of the chosen race, which is his prin-
cipal theme. This being the constant plan of the book
this formula, which in every other instance is the title
of the section to which it is prefixed, must be the same
in this case likewise. It is the heading of the second
section, and can be nothing else.
This conclusion is not only demanded by the uniform
analogy of the entire series of similar titles but by other
1. It is confirmed by the identical structure of the im-
mediately following clause here and in v. 1, where the
connection is unquestioned. "In the day of Jehovah
Elohim's making earth and heaven," follows the title
"the generations of the heaven and of the earth," in pre-
cise conformity with "in the day of Elohim's creating
Adam," after the title "the generations of Adam."
2. If ii. 4a is a subscription to the preceding section,
then ii. 4b-iv. 26 is the only portion of the book without
a title, while i. 1-ii. 3 will have two titles, one which is
entirely appropriate at the beginning (i. 1), and one which
is altogether unsuitable at the end.
3. On the divisive hypothesis the additional incongru-
ity results, that when the section ascribed to J (ii. 4b-ch.
iv.) is excluded, and the connection restored, as it origi-
nally existed in P, ii. 4a will be immediately followed by
v. 1, and thus two titles will have stood in direct juxta-
Now what does the generations of the heavens and of
the earth mean? It has sometimes been interpreted to
mean an account of the origin of the heavens and of the
earth, such as we find in ch. i., to which it is then claimed
that this must be attached as explanatory of the contents
of that chapter. But neither the words themselves nor
their usage elsewhere will admit of this interpretation.
"The book of the generations of Adam " (v. 1) is a list
of the descendants of Adam. "The generations of Noah"
(vi. 9) records the history of Noah's family. "The gener-
ations of the sons of Noah" (x. 1) and "the generations
of Shem" (xi. 10), trace the various lines of their descend-
ants. And so it is uniformly. "The generations of A
or B" do not detail his ancestry or his origin, but either
give the history of his immediate family or the continu-
ous line of his descendants. And this the proper signifi-
cation of the Hebrew word so rendered necessarily de-
mands. It denotes "generations" in the sense of that
which is generated or begotten, the offspring of a pro-
Accordingly this title, "the generations of the heaven
and the earth," must announce as the subject of the sec-
tion which it introduces not an account of the way in
which the heaven and the earth were themselves brought
12 GENERATIONS OF HEAVEN AND EARTH
into being, but an account of the offspring of heaven and
earth; in other words, of man who is the child of both
worlds, his body formed of the dust of the earth, his soul
of heavenly origin, inbreathed by God himself. And so
the sections proceed regularly. First, Gen. i. 1, "In
the beginning God created the heaven and the earth," the
title announcing that the theme of the first chapter is
the creation. Then ii. 4, "The generations of the heav-
ens and the earth," announcing that the theme of what
follows is the offspring of heaven and earth, or the his-
tory of Adam and his family. Then v. 1, "The genera-
tions of Adam," in which his descendants are traced to
Noah and his sons. Then vi. 4," The generations of
Noah," or the history of Noah's family, and so on to the
end of the book.
But here we are met by Dr. Dillmann and other lead-
ing advocates of the divisive hypothesis, who say, It is
true that "the generations of the heavens and the earth"
denote that which has sprung from the heavens and the
earth; but this is the title of ch. i. nevertheless, which
records how grass and trees and animals and man came
forth from the earth, and the sun, moon, and stars made
their appearance in the heavens. This must, therefore,
originally have stood at the beginning of ch. i., and it has
been transposed to its present position by the redactor.
This shows what a useful person the redactor is in the
service of the critics. Here is a clause which is seriously
in their way where it stands at present. It rivets the
second chapter to the first in more ways than one. It
declares positively that ch. ii. is not a parallel account of
the creation taken from another source, but is a sequel
to the narrative of the creation already given in ch. i.
Moreover, this formula, which the critics tell us is one of
the marks of the document P, to which the first chapter
is alleged to belong, as distinguished from the document
J, to which the section before us is referred, and whose
words are the words of P and not of J, is here found at-
tached to the wrong document, thus annulling in certain
marked respects their favorite argument from diction and
style. It is an obstacle to be gotten rid of, therefore, at
all hazards. The aid of the redactor is accordingly
called in, and the disturbing clause is spirited away to a
safe distance and located at the beginning of the first
chapter, instead of the beginning of the second section,
where it actually stands.
Only it is unfortunate that the redactor is of no avail
in the present instance. The clause in question never
could have been the title of ch. i. It is obvious that the
heavens and the earth must first be brought into exist-
ence before the generations of the heavens and the earth
can be spoken of, just as Adam and Noah must precede
the generations of Adam and the generations of Noah.
Besides, it would be altogether inappropriate as a title of
ch. i. The firmament and the heavenly bodies, the seas
and the dry land, the work of the first four days, are
identical with the heavens and the earth, not their off-
spring. The creating and shaping of the material uni-
verse cannot with propriety be included under the "gen-
erations" of the heavens and the earth, and the writer of
the chapter could never have expressed its purport in
such terms. And even the vegetable and animal prod-
ucts, which by creative fiat were made to issue from the
earth on the third, fifth, and sixth days, were wholly of
an earthly, not a heavenly, mould. And the title, if un-
derstood of such products, would stand in no relation to
the subsequent titles of the book. Grass and trees and
animals supply no stepping-stone to the next title, the
Generations of Adam. It is only Adam himself that can
do this. It is not until ver. 26 that the creation of man
is reached. And man in ch. i. is considered simply in his
14 GENERATIONS OF HEAVEN AND EARTH
place in the general scheme of created things. He is in-
troduced into the world; but there is no record of what
befell him or his family, such as we are authorized to ex-
pect, such as is in fact given in ii. 4b-iv. 26. Every sim-
ilar title in Genesis is followed either by a history of the
immediate offspring or by successive generations of de-
The clause which we have been considering is an ob-
stacle to the partition of the first two chapters which it
has not been possible to remove by any critical device.
It plainly declares the subject of the second section to
be not the creation of the world, but the formation of
man and the first stage of human history.
It remains to be added that an examination of the
second section itself will show that it does not in point
of fact contain a fresh account of the creation. The
opening words, "In the day that Jehovah God made the
earth and the heavens," do not introduce an account of
making earth arid heaven, but presuppose it as having
already taken place, and the writer proceeds to indicate
the condition of things when it was done and what fol-
lowed subsequently. No mention is made of the forma-
tion of the earth or the production of the dry land; none
of the sea and its occupants; none of the firmament or of
the sun, moon, and stars; none of covering the earth with
its varied vegetation, but only of planting a garden in
the field "(iii. 18), whose existence is thus assumed, but
whose production is only spoken of in ch. i. These par-
ticulars could not be omitted from an account of the crea-
tion. To say, as is done by Dr. Dillmann, that they may
originally have been contained in ch. ii., but were omitted
by R because they were treated sufficiently in ch. i., is to
make an assumption without a particle of evidence,
which amounts simply to a confession that ch. ii. is not
what it would have been if the writer had intended to
give a narrative of the creation, and that its omissions
are with definite reference to the contents of ch. i. In
other words, ch. ii. has no claim to be regarded as a sep-
arate and complete account of the creation; and it has
not been prepared independently of ch. i., but is design-
edly supplementary to it.
Chapter ii. has thus far been considered negatively,
and it has been shown what it is not. It is not a second
account of the creation; and it has not been prepared in-
dependently of ch. i. and without regard to the contents
of that first chapter. It is now in order to state posi-
tively what ch. ii. actually is. It is evidently through-
out preliminary to ch. iii., the narrative of the fall. In
order to make this intelligible it was necessary to ex-
plain (1), the two constituents of man's nature, his body
formed of the dust of the ground, and the breath of life
imparted directly by God himself (ver. 7). It was neces-
sary that this should be known, that the reader might
comprehend on the one hand the potential immortality
set within his reach, and on the other the sentence ac-
tually incurred that dust must return to dust (iii. 19).
(2) The locality, which was the scene of the temptation
and fall, the garden of Eden, with its tree of life and the
tree of the knowledge of good and evil (vs.8-17). (3)
The actors, Adam and Eve, in their superiority to the
rest of the creation, and their relation to each other (vs.
18-25). These particulars could not have been incor-
porated in ch. i. without marring its symmetry. That
deals with the creation of the world at large. Every-
thing is on a universal scale. And to introduce a de-
tailed description of the garden of Eden, with its arrange-
ments and man's position in it, would have been quite
inappropriate. The plan and purpose of ch. i. made it
16 GENERATIONS OF HEAVEN AND EARTH
necessary to reserve this for the following section, and
it is accordingly given in ch. ii.
It follows from what has been said that all compari-
sons made, or contrasts drawn, between ch. i. and ch. ii.
on the assumption that they are separate and indepen-
dent accounts of the same transaction are necessarily fal-
lacious. In the one the scene embraces the whole world
with all that it contains. In the other it is limited to the
garden of Eden, which is fitted up for the habitation of
the first human pair. The first advances by a succession
of almighty fiats from the initial production of inanimate
matter to the culmination of the whole grand process in
the creation of man in the image of God. The second
deals exclusively with the primitive state of man, which
is minutely explained with a special view to the tempta-
tion and fall; all is on the plane of individual life and
moves steadily forward to that first transgression by
which man lost his original holiness and communion
with God. The second chapter is thus in no sense par-
allel to the first, but is its natural sequel. It is the suc-
ceeding scene in the sacred history, the next act; so to
speak, in the divine drama which is here transacting. It
introduces the reader to a new and distinct stage in the
unfolding of that plan of God which it is the purpose of
the book of Genesis to record.
With such marked differences in the design and the
contents of the two chapters, it follows, of course, that each
has a character of its own distinct from the other. It is
very easy to set one over against the other and to point
out their distinctive qualities. But the dissimilar feat-
ures, which so readily offer themselves to the observer,
result directly and necessarily from the diversity of the
subjects respectively treated in each, and require no as-
sumption of the idiosyncrasies of different writers or the
peculiarities of separate documents to account for them.
Thus, for example, if it be said with Dr. Harper (" He-
braica," vol. i., pp. 25-27) that ch. i. is " generic," dealing
with species and classes, and ch. ii. is "individual," how
could they be otherwise, considering their respective
themes? One records the formation of the world as a
whole, and of the various orders of beings that are
in it; the other deals specifically with the first human
If it be said that the first chapter is "systematic,"
"chronological," and "scientific," the reason is that the
nature of its subject brings these features into marked
prominence. When the work of six successive days is
to be stated, each advancing upon the preceding by reg-
ular gradations, and together embracing all the various
ranks of created things, the subject itself prescribes the
mode of treatment adapted to it, which must be system-
atic, chronological, and scientific, if the theme proposed
is to be clearly and satisfactorily presented. But why
should a writer who shows his capacity for the classifi-
cation of genera and species where his subject demands
it, lug in his scientific terms or methods where no such
classification is called for? If he has pursued a chrono-
logical method in ch. i., where the subject divides itself
into successive periods, what is to hinder his adoption of
a topical method in chs. ii. and iii., where he groups the
various incidents and particulars with masterly skill, and
all leads as directly up to the catastrophe of the fall as
in ch. i. all marches steadily forward to the Sabbath-day
of rest? There is as clear evidence of system in the
logical order of the narration in chs. ii. and iii. as in the
chronological order of ch. i. And there is the same
graphic power and masterly presentation in the grand
and majestic tableaux of ch. i. as in the simple and
touching scenes so delicately depicted in chs. ii. and iii.
When it is said that ch. ii. is "picturesque and poet-
18 GENERATIONS OF HEAVEN AND EARTH
ical," it may "be said with equal propriety that ch. i. is
sublimely poetical. The scenes are drawn in bold relief,
and stand as vividly before the reader as anything in the
chapters that follow; only the scenes themselves are of a
different description. One gives the impression of im-
mensity and power and vast terrestrial changes; the
other of beauty and pathos and the development of per-
sonal character. Cannot the same writer handle diverse
themes? And if he do, must he not be expected to treat
each in he way appropriate to itself ?
It is claimed that ch. i. deals in "stereotyped"
phrases and is "verbose and repetitious," while the
style of chs. ii. and iii. is "free and flowing." This
again is due to the nature of the subjects with which
they respectively deal. Ch. i. is monumental, conducted
on a scale of vastness and magnificence, and its charac-
ters are massive and unyielding as if carved in granite.
Chs. ii. and iii. deal with plastic forms of quiet beauty,
the charms of paradise, the fateful experiences of Adam
and Eve. In the onward progress of creation all is con-
ducted by the word of omnipotence, to which the result
precisely corresponds. To mark this correspondence in
the most emphatic manner, the command is issued in
explicit terms; and the answering result, which exactly
matches it, is described in identical language. There are,
besides, certain constant and abiding features, which
characterize the creative work from first to last, and
which abide the same in the midst of all the majestic
changes which are going forward. There is the regu-
lar recurrence of each creative day, of the daily putting
forth of almighty power, of God's approval of his work
which perfectly represents the divine idea, the name
given to indicate its character, the blessing bestowed to
enable it to accomplish its end. To mark all this in the
most emphatic manner, the identical phrases are re-
peated throughout from first to last. The solemn and
impressive monotone, which thus runs through the
whole, heightens the grandeur of the description, and is
suggestive of that divine serenity which steadily and un-
deviatingly moves onward in its appointed course, while
the ponderous periods aptly befit the massive objects
with which they deal. There is no call for such a style
in simple narrative like ch. ii., where it would be utterly
out of place and stilted in the extreme. That the char-
acteristics which have been referred to are due to the
subject of ch. i., and not to some imaginary peculiarity
of the writer, is plain, even if the critical partition of
Genesis were accepted. For the narratives, which the
critics assign to the same document as ch. i., differ as
widely from it as ch. ii. does.
In like manner Dr. Dillmann urges, in proof of a di-
versity of writers, that the author of ch. i. "restricts
himself to the great facts without entering in an explan-
atory way into particular details," and that he uses "a
ceremonious, solemn, formal style of writing," as dis-
tinguished from the "evenness" of chs. ii. and iii. This
is sufficiently answered in what has been already said.
The difference arises from the nature of the subject, not
from the habit of the writer. As Dr. Dillmann himself
justly says: "The author in writing was fully conscious
of the unique loftiness of his subject; there is not a
word too much, yet all is clear and well defined; no-
where is there anything artificial and far-fetched; only
once in an appropriate place he allows himself to rise to
elevated poetic speech (ver. 27); even the expressions
savoring of a remote antiquity, which he here and there
employs (vs. 2, 24), have evidently come down to him
with the matter from the olden time, and serve admi-
rably to enhance the impression of exalted dignity."
It is said that ch. i. proceeds from the lower to the
20 GENERATIONS OF REA VEN AND EARTH
higher, ending with man; while, on the contrary, ch. ii.
begins with the highest, viz., with man, and proceeds to
the lower forms of life. But as ch. ii. continues the his-
tory begun in ch. i., it naturally starts where ch. i. ends,
that is to say, with the creation of man, especially as the
whole object of the chapter is to depict his primitive
These various contrasts between ch. i. and ii. explain
themselves at once, as has now been shown from the di-
versity of theme. They could only be supposed to lend
support to the critical hypothesis of different documents
on the false assumption that the theme of both chapters
was the same.
While each of these chapters pursues consistently and
steadily its own proper aim, they have certain points of
contact, in which it is to be remarked that the second
chapter supplements the first, but there is no discrep-
ancy between them. In fact it is as inconsistent with the
document hypothesis as it is with that of unity of
authorship to suppose that we have here two divergent
stories of the creation. The redactor does not place
them side by side, as two varying accounts, which he
makes no attempt to reconcile, but lays before his read-
ers precisely as he found them. There is no intimation
that they are alternatives, one or the other of which may
be accepted at pleasure. On the contrary, chs. i. and ii.
are recorded as equally true and to be credited alike.
The inference cannot reasonably be avoided that the re-
dactor, if there was one, saw no inconsistency in these
narratives. Elsewhere the critics tell us he has corrected
divergent accounts into harmony. He could have seen
no need of correction here, for he has made none. The
case is supposable indeed that some minute and subtle
inconsistency may have escaped his notice. But there
can be no open or glaring inconsistency, or he would
have detected and removed it, or at least remarked upon
it. To suppose otherwise is to charge him with defi-
ciency in ordinary intelligence.
The first chapter continues the narrative of the crea-
tion until the crowning-piece was put upon the work by
making man in the image of God, and giving him, as
God's vicegerent, dominion over all in this lower world.
To prepare the way for the history of the temptation and
fall, which comes next in order, it was needful to give
further particulars respecting man's primitive condition,
which it would have been incongruous to include in the
general account of the creation of the world in ch. i.
These are accordingly supplied in ch. ii.
One of these particulars is his location in the garden
way to the description of this garden, the writer reminds
his readers, in precise conformity with ch. i., that when
heaven and earth were first made the latter contained
nothing for the subsistence of man. Ch. ii. 4, 5 should be
rendered, "In the day that Jehovah God made earth and
heaven no bush of the field was yet in the earth, and no
herb of the field had yet sprung up." There was neither
bush nor herb to serve man for food. The threefold
classification of i. 11, 12--grass, herb, and tree--is not
repeated here, for grass was the food of beasts, and there-
fore not to the purpose. "Bush" is used rather than
"tree," to make the negative stronger. There was not
only no tree, there was not even a bush. Subsequently
trees (ii. 9) and herbs (iii. 18) are named, as the plants
yielding food for human use, just as in i. 29.
The suggestion that in ch. i. both trees and herbs are
assigned to man as his food from the beginning, while in
22 GENERATIONS OF HEAVEN AND EARTH
ii., iii. he eats the fruit of trees in
condemned to eat herbs after his fall (iii. 18), overlooks
the real point of contrast, which is not between trees and
herbs, but between the trees of the garden and the herb
of the field, between the tillage of paradise and gaining
his bread by the sweat of his face from a reluctant soil
bringing forth thistles and thorns. Only trees are ex-
spoken of in
of obedience, and another the pledge of immortal life;
but there is no more reason for denying the existence of
esculent herbs in paradise than for assuming that there
were no fruit-trees outside of it.
The form of expression, "In the day that Jehovah
God made earth and heaven," has given occasion to cavil,
as though that was here assigned to one day, which ch. i.
divides between the second and third creative days. It
might as well be said that Num. iii. 1, "In the day that
spake unto Moses in
all the revelations given to Moses at Sinai were made
within the compass of a single day; or that " the day of
adversity "means a period of twenty-four hours. The
use of "day," in the general sense of "time" is too fa-
miliar to require further comment.
The reason given for the absence of food-bearing
plants is twofold; there was no rain to moisten the
earth, and no man to till the ground.1 There is no vari-
ance, here with ch. i. The suggestion that if the land
had just emerged from the water, rain would not be
1 My friend, Dr. C. M. Mead, of Hartford Theological Seminary,
in casual conversation on this subject suggested what, if my memory
serves me, was also maintained by Ebrard in a little tract on Natural
Science and the Bible, issued several years since, that the last clause
of ii. 5 is not connected with that which immediately precedes.
"There was no plant (for there had been no rain), and there was no
man." Upon this construction there is not even the semblance of an
intimation that man existed before plants.
needed, leaves out of view that according to i. 9, 10, the
separation of land and water was complete, and the earth
was dry land, before any plants appeared upon its sur-
face. A well-watered garden with ever-flowing streams
was to be the abode of man; in anticipation of this it
was natural to refer to the need of rain. And there is
no implication that man was made prior to the existence
of vegetation, contrary to i. 12, 27. For
1. Ch. ii. alleges nothing respecting the relative prior-
ity of man or plants. It does not deal with the general
vegetation of the globe any further than to carry us back
to a time when it did not exist. Of its actual production
ch. ii. says nothing. Its positive statement is restricted
to the trees of the garden of Eden (vs. 8, 9), and we are
nowhere informed that these were brought into being at
the same time with vegetation elsewhere. Nothing is
said of the origin of grass and herbs, or of trees, outside
says: "One would expect that in what follows, either
before or after ver. 7, mention should be made of the
production of the vegetable world, and completing the
formation of the world itself. But there is nothing of
the sort. There can hardly have been such a gap orig-
inally; it rather appears that something has been omitted
by R, either because it seemed a needless repetition after
ch. i., or disagreed with ch. i." The passage does not ful-
fil the critics' expectation, for the simple reason that the
writer had no such intention as they impute to him. He
is not giving another account of the creation. He is
merely going to speak of the garden of Eden; and that
is all he does.
2. The existence of man is stated to be a condition of
that of plants designed for human use, not as an ante-
cedent but as a concomitant. His tillage is requisite (ii.
5), not to their production but to their subsequent care
24 GENERATIONS OF HEAVEN AND EARTH
and cultivation. Jehovah planted the garden and made
the trees grow in it, and then set man to till it, ver. 15,
where the same verb is used as in ver. 5.
3. The order of statement is plainly not that of time,
but of association in thought. Ver. 7, man is formed;
ver. 8, the garden is planted and man put in it; ver. 9,
trees are made to spring up there; ver. 15, man is taken
and put in it. We cannot suppose the writer's meaning
to be that man was made before there was any place in
which to put him, and that he was kept in suspense until
the garden was planted; that he was then put there be-
fore the trees that were to supply him with food had
sprung up; and that after the trees were in readiness he
was put there a second time. It is easy to deduce the
most preposterous conclusions from a writer's words by
imputing to them a sense which he never intended. In
order to pave the way for an account of the primitive
paradise, he had spoken of the earth as originally desti-
tute of any plants on which man might subsist, the ex-
istence of such plants being conditioned on that of man
himself. This naturally leads him to speak, first, of the
formation of man (ver. 7); then of the garden in which
he was put (ver. 8). A more particular description of the
garden is then given (vs.9-14), and the narrative is again
resumed by repeating that man was placed there (ver. 15).
As there was plainly no intention to note the strict
chronological succession of events, it cannot in fairness
be inferred from the order of the narrative that man was
to the trees and plants of
1The critics' assumption that vs. 10-15 is an interpolation, inasmuch
as the description of the garden is a departure from strict narrative
which is afterward resumed, as well as Budde's notion (Biblische Ur-
geschichte, pp. 48 sqq.) that the tree of life is to be erased from ver. 9
and elsewhere, as not belonging to the narrative originally, deserve
notice only as illustrating the perfectly arbitrary standard of genuine-
ness which is set up.
that he preceded those of the world at large, of which
nothing is here said.
But what cannot be accomplished by the order of the
narrative some critics propose to effect by means of a
grammatical construction. They put vs. 5, 6, in a paren-
thesis, and link ver. 4 directly to ver. 7, and read thus:
Ver.4, In the day that Jehovah God made the earth and
the heavens (ver. 5, Now no bush of the field was yet in
the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung up;
for Jehovah God had not caused it to rain upon the earth,
and there was not a man to till the ground. Ver. 6, And
there went up vapor from the earth, and watered the
whole face of the ground). Ver. 7, Then Jehovah God
formed man, etc. The meaning will then be: "In the day
that Jehovah God made earth and heaven, Jehovah God
formed man of the dust of the ground, while no bush of
the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field
had yet sprung up." But apart from the fact that the
assumption of so long a parenthesis is of very doubtful
propriety in Hebrew construction generally, it is abso-
lutely impossible here. Ver. 5 states a twofold reason
why there were no plants adapted to human use; there
had been no rain and there was no man to use them.
The first of these conditions is supplied in ver. 6, vapor
rises, and falling in rain waters the ground; the second, in
ver. 7, man is made; vs. 6 and 7 must accordingly
stand in like relation to ver. 5, so that ver. 6 cannot be
included in the parenthesis and ver. 7 be linked back to
Furthermore, ch. ii. does not contradict ch. i. in re-
spect to the order of the creation of man and of the
lower animals. The allegation that it does rests upon the
assumption that the Hebrew tense here used necessarily
implies a sequence in the order of time, which is not
correct. The record is (ver. 19), "And out of the ground
26 GENERATIONS OF HEAVEN AND EARTH
Jehovah God formed all the beasts of the field, and all
the fowls of heaven, and brought them to Adam." Ac-
cording to Hebrew usage this need not mean that the
formation of the birds and the beasts was subsequent to
all that is previously recorded in the chapter, or that they
were then first formed with the view of providing a suit-
able companion for Adam. And when the scope of the
passage is duly considered it will be seen that this can-
not be its meaning.
It is a significant fact that Dr. Delitzsch, who is an
adherent of the document hypothesis, and can be sus-
pected of no bias against it, and who in all the former
editions of his "Commentary on Genesis" found ch. i.
and ch. ii at variance on this point, in the, last edition,
embodying his most matured views, affirms that there is
no discrepancy whatever, that "et formavit . . . et
adduxit == et cum form asset adduxit," and that this is
both possible in point of style and consonant to the
mode of writing in the Bible history.
The English rendering which best suggests the rela-
tion of the clauses is, "Jehovah God having formed out
of the ground every beast of the field, and every fowl of
heaven, brought them unto the man." The Hebrew
phrase suggests that forming the animals preceded their
being brought to the man, but need not suggest anything
whatever as to the relation of time between their forma-
tion and what had been mentioned just before in the nar-
rative. In numberless passages in the English version
of the Bible similar expressions are paraphrased in order
to express this subordination of the first verb to the
second. Thus in Gen. iii. 6 the Hebrew reads, "And
the woman saw that the tree was good for food, . . .
and she took of the fruit thereof," for which the English
version correctly substitutes, "And when the woman saw
. . . she took." It might with equal propriety be
PRIMITIVE STATE OF MAN (CH. ii. 4-III. 24) 27
rendered, "The woman seeing that the tree was good for
food . . . took of the fruit thereof. "
Dr. Dillmann admits that the tense here used might
antedate what immediately precedes, but insists that ver.
18, "I will make him an help meet for him," implies that
the animals were now made as well as brought to Adam.
But to suppose that the beasts and birds were made in
execution of this divine purpose is not only a grotesque
conception in itself, but involves the incongruity that the
LORD'S first attempts were failures. If there are critics
who account this "the natural interpretation," it is in
the face of the whole Israelitish conception of God as
every writer in the Old Testament.
serve that God's original purpose, as here announced, is
not I will make him a companion of some sort, or such a
companion as he may be willing to have, but I will make
him an help meet for him, or, more exactly rendered, a
help corresponding to him, a precise counterpart to him-
self. The beasts were brought to Adam not as the com-
panion intended for him, but "to see what he would call
them," i.e., to let them make their impression on him and
thus awaken in his mind a sense both of his need of com-
panionship and of their unfitness for the purpose. When
this had been accomplished Eve was made. The ani-
mals are here regarded simply with a view to this end.
If the writer were describing the creation of the inferior
animals as such, he would speak of all the orders of liv-
ing things, not neglecting reptiles and aquatic animals.
The LORD made the birds and beasts and brought them
to Adam. The main point is that they were brought to
Adam. It was of no consequence, so far as the imme-
diate purpose of the narrative is concerned, when they
were made, whether before Adam or after, and the mere
order of statement cannot in fairness be pressed as
though it determined the order of time in this particu-
28 GENERATIONS OF HEAVEN AND EARTH
lar. If, however, this is insisted upon, and we are told
that according to the "natural interpretation" of this
passage it teaches that the birds and beasts were not
made until after Adam, then it must be said that the
same sort of "natural interpretation" will create absurd-
ities and contradictions in many other passages beside.
Thus in Gen. xxiv. 64, 65, "Rebekah saw Isaac and light-
ed off the camel, and she said to the servant, What man
is this, and the servant said, It is my master." Here, if
the order of statement is made the order of time, Re-
bekah alighted, out of respect to her future husband, be-
fore she had inquired and learned who the man was that
she saw. So Ex. iv. 31, "And the people believed and
they heard, . . . and they bowed their heads and wor-
shipped." According to this the people believed the
words of Moses and Aaron before they heard them. It
is said of
the men sent by Joshua to spy out
(Josh. ii. 22), "They came unto the mountain and abode
there three days until the pursuers were returned; and
the pursuers sought them and found them not." From
which it appears that the pursuers returned from their
unsuccessful search before their search was begun. The
went he? And his sons saw what way the man of God
went." Here "saw" is plainly equivalent to "had seen,"
since the man had left some time before. Isa. xxxvii.
2-5, Hezekiah sent Eliakim and others to Isaiah, and
they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah so and so:
and the servants of Hezekiah came to Isaiah and Isaiah
said unto them, etc. That is, they told Isaiah what they
had been bidden to say before they came to him. Deut.
xxxi. 9, "And Moses wrote this law and delivered it
unto the priests," i. e., he delivered to them the law
which he had written; the delivery of the law was subse-
quent to the address to Joshua (vers. 7, 8), but not the
writing of it.
Now, any candid man may judge whether declining to
accept a principle of interpretation which leads to such
absurd results can be called wresting Scripture from its
natural sense? If not, then no suspicion of wresting
Scripture language can possibly attach to the assertion
that there is not a shadow of contrariety between ch. i.
and ch. ii. in respect to the order of creation.
It is clear that the alleged inconsistencies do not exist
in the record but are of the critics' own making. It is
surprising that they do not see that in their eagerness to
create discrepancies in evidence of a diversity of writers
they are cutting away the ground beneath their own
feet. Glaring discrepancies might consist with the frag-
mentary but not with the documentary hypothesis. The
manner in which these documents are supposed to be
woven together demands a high degree of skill and intel-
ligence in the redactor; and to allege at the same time
that "he did not have insight sufficient to enable him to
see that he was all the time committing grave blunders"
In the diction of these chapters Dillmann notes the
following words and phrases as indicative of J :
1. hWAfA make or rcayA form, instead of xrABA create, as in ch. i.
But "make" is used ten times in the first section, and of
the same things as "create," cf. i. 1 with vs. 7, 8; i. 26
with ver. 27; i.21 with ver. 25, ii. 3. In ch. i. the promi-
nent thought is that of the immediate exercise of divine
almighty power, hence, ver. 1, "God created the heaven
and the earth;" ver. 21, "created whales and winged fowl;"
ver. 27, "created man," so v. i. 2; "all which God created"
ii. 3; and these are all the P passages in which the word
occurs. Ch. ii. directs attention to the material, of which
the bodies were composed; hence, ver. 7, "formed man
30 GENERATIONS OF HEAVEN AND EARTH
of dust;" ver. 19, "formed beasts out of the ground." In
Isa. xliii. 1; xlv. 7, 12, 18, "create," "form," and "make "
are used together, and in the same sentence, of God's
creative agency. "Form" occurs nowhere in the Hexa-
teuch except in this chapter; in the only other instance
in which the creation of man is alluded to in a paragraph
assigned to J, Gen. vi. 7 the word "create" is used; it
likewise occurs in Ex. xxxiv. 10; Num. xvi. 30 J. And if
the absence of "form" from the rest of J has no signifi-
cance, why is there any in its absence from P?
2. hd,W.Aha tY.aHa beast of the field (ii.19, 20; iii. 1, 14) instead
of Cr,xAhA ty>aHa beast of the earth, as i. 24, 25; also hd,W.Aha HayWi
bush of the field (ii. 5), hc,W.Ah bW,fe herb of the field (ii. 5; iii.
18). The open field is here in tacit contrast with the en-
closed and cultivated garden; cr. iii. 18. "Beast of the
field" is the ordinary phrase throughout the Bible. But
when terrestrial are contrasted with aquatic animals
(i. 21, 22), and especially when the whole broad earth
is spoken of, they are naturally called "beasts of the earth."
3. MraPaha this time, now (ii. 23). See chs. xviii., xix.
Marks of J, No.9.
4. rIbfEBa because (iii. 17). See chs. vi.-ix., Marks of J,
5. yTil;bil; not to (iii. 11). See chs. xvii., xix., Marks of
J, No. 14.
6. txz.o hma what is this (iii. 13). See ch. xii. 10-22,
Marks of J, No.7.
7. NObc,Afi sorrow, toil (iii 16, 17); it occurs but once
besides in the Old Testament (v. 29), and with express
allusion to this passage.
8. wreGe drive out (iii. 24). See ch. xxi. 1-21, Marks of
9. lOql; fmawA hearken unto the voice (iii. 17). See ch.
xvi., Marks of J, No. 8.
10. hBAr;hi hBAr;ha greatly multiply (iii. 16). See ch. xvi.,
Marks of J, No. 10.
Jehovah is distinctively the God of revelation and of
redemption; hence in this section, where God's grace to
man is the prominent thought, his care and favor be-
stowed upon him in his original estate, the primal prom-
ise of mercy after the fall, and the goodness mingled with
severity which marked the whole ordering of his condi-
tion subsequently, that salutary course of discipline which
was instituted with a view to gracious ends, Jehovah is
appropriately used. At the same time, to make it plain
that Jehovah is not a different or inferior deity, but that
the God of grace is one with God the Creator, Jehovah
Elohim are here combined. In the interview of Eve with
the serpent (iii. 1-5), however, Elohim is used, as is cus-
tomary when aliens speak or are spoken to. This shows
that these names are used discriminatingly, and that the
employment of one or the other is regulated not by the
mere habit of different writers, but by their suitableness
to the subject-matter.
It is alleged that a different conception of God is pre-
sented in this section from that which is found in the
preceding. "Jehovah forms men and beasts, breathes the
breath of life into man's nostrils, builds a rib into a woman,
plants a garden, takes a man and puts him into it, brings
the beasts to the man, walks in the cool of the day, speaks
(iii. 22) as though he were jealous of the man." But as
Elohim and Jehovah are words of different signification
and represent the Most High under different aspects of
his being, they must when used correctly and with regard
to their proper meaning be associated with different con-
ceptions of God, This does not argue a diversity of
writers, but simply that the divine name has each time
been selected in accordance with the idea to be expressed,
Elohim is the more general designation of God as the
32 GENERATIONS OF HEAVEN AND EARTH
Creator and providential Governor of the world and of
all mankind. Jehovah is his personal name, and that by
which he has made himself known when entering into
close relations with men, and particularly the chosen race,
as the God of revelation and grace. The intimacy thus
established between the Creator and the creature involves
a condescension to man and placing himself in accord
with man, which requires anthropomorphisms for its ex-
pression and can be made intelligible in no other way.
There is not the slightest inconsistency between the an-
thropomorphisms of chs. ii., iii., and the lofty conceptions
of ch. i., and no ground whatever for assuming that they
are the ideas of distinct writers. They abound alike in the
Prophets and in the Psalms, where they are freely in-
termingled in their devout utterances. With one breath
the Psalmist speaks of God as knowing the secrets of the
heart (xliv. 22), and with the next calls upon him, "Awake,
why sleepest thou?" (ver. 24). Ps. cxxxix. links with the
most exalted description in human language of the omni-
presence and omniscience of the infinite God the prayer,
(ver. 23), "Search me and know my heart," as though it
was necessary for the Most High to make a careful in-
vestigation in order to ascertain what is hidden there.
It should be observed further that the preceding sec-
tion, with all its grandeur and simplicity, has its anthro-
pomorphisms likewise. Each creative fiat is uttered
in human language (i. 3, 6 sqq.). God "called the light
MOy" (i. 5), giving Hebrew names to that and various other
objects. He "saw the light that it was good" (i. 4), thus
inspecting the work of each day and pronouncing upon
its quality. He uttered a formula of blessing upon the
various orders of living things (i. 22, 28). He deliberated
with himself prior to the creation of man (i. 26). Man
was made "in the image of God," an expression which
has been wrested to imply a material form. Time was
spent upon the work, and this was divided into six suc-
cessive days, like so many working periods of men.
When the work ,vas done, God rested on the seventh
day (ii. 2); and thus the week was completed, another
human measure of time. All this is anthropomorphic.
He who would speak intelligibly to finite comprehension
of the infinite God must use anthropomorphisms. The
difference is not of kind, but of degree.
MUTUAL RELATION OF THIS AND THE PRECEDING SECTION.
The inter-relation between these sections is such as to
show that they cannot be, as the critics claim, from sep-
arate and independent documents.
1. The distribution of the matter gives evidence of pre-
arrangement and cannot be purely accidental. The crea-
tion of the world, heaven, earth, and sea, with all that
they contain, is described in ch. i., and is assumed in ch.
ii. The latter simply gives details, which were necessa-
rily passed over in the plan of the former, respecting the
separate formation of man and woman and fitting up the
garden for their habitation. Ch. ii. 19 is the only ap-
parent exception to the specific and limited character of
this section. But even this is no real exception, since it
is obvious, as has already been shown, that the formation
of the beasts and birds is only incidentally mentioned as
subordinate to the principal statement, and the one of
chief importance in the connection that God brought
them to Adam to receive their names. Again, God gave
names to certain things in ch. i.; Adam gave names to
others in chs. ii., iii.; and these are precisely adjusted to
one another, neither duplicating nor omitting any. God
gave names to day and night, heaven, earth, and seas (i.
5, 8, 10), and to Adam (v. 1). Adam gave names to the
inferior animals (ii. 20), and to Eve (ii. 23 ; iii. 20).
34 GENERATIONS OF HEAVEN AND EARTH
2. The title ii. 4a has been shown to belong to this
section, and contains explicit reference to the preceding
of which this is declared to be the sequel. And in the
body of the section there are numerous allusions to, or
coincidences with, the preceding or other so-called P sec-
tions. If the construction of i. 1 adopted by Dillmann
be correct, there is a striking similarity in structure be-
tween i. 1, 2 P, and ii.. 4b, 5 J, "in the beginning when
God created, etc., the earth was waste and void," corre-
sponding to " in the day that Jehovah God made, etc., no
bush of the field was yet in the earth." J ii. 4b strikingly
resembles P v. 1b in the form of expression; so do i. 4a
P and vi. 2a J; i. 31a, vi. 12a P and viii.13b J; Cr,x, earth,
without the article, i. 24 P, as ii. 4 J. The paronomasia
UhbovA UhTo (i.2), Ubr;U UrP; (i. 22,28) P recalls in J MdAxA . . .
hmAdAxE (ii. 7), wyxi... hw>Axi (ver. 23), dnAvA fnA (iv.14), rp,xevA rpAfA
(xviii. 27). The first person plural used of God (i. 26
P), notwithstanding the strictness of Hebrew monotheism
has its counterpart in J, iii. 22; xi. 7. The use of hWAfA
made (iii. 1 J) in reference to the beasts, instead of rcayA
formed, as ii. 19 J, is a reminiscence of i. 25 P. XXXXX
cherubim (iii. 24 J) occurs in the Pentateuch besides only
3. The repeated occurrence of Jehovah Elohim
throughout chs. ii., iii. is with evident reference to ch. i.
This combination of divine names occurs nowhere else
with such regularity and frequency, though it is found
in a few other passages, e.g., Ex. n. 30; 2 Sam. vii. 22,
25; 1 Chron. xvii. 16, 17; Jon. iv. 6; cf. 1 Sam. vi. 20.
This relieves it from. Dr. Harper's charge1 of being "an
un-Hebraic expression," and refutes the notion of Hup-
feld2 that it is adopted here without reference to ch. i.,
because as the full name of God it was appropriate to
the state of paradise; from which there was a descent to
1 Hebraica, vol. i., p. 23. 2 Quellen der Genesis, p. 124.
Jehovah alone after the fall; that of Reuss1 that it is
indicative of a special document distinct from both P
and J, and that of Budde2 that it arose from the com-
bination of two documents, one of which used the name
Jehovah and the other Elohim. In every other passage,
in which it is found, it denotes that Jehovah the God of
must have the same meaning here; it can only be in-
tended to suggest that Jehovah, now first introduced, is
identical with Elohim before spoken of in ch. i. This
is admitted by the critics generally, who seek, however, to
evade the natural inference of the common authorship of
both sections by the assumption, which has no other
basis than the hypothesis that it is adduced to support,
that Elohim was inserted by R.
And while it is plain that chs. ii., iii. is thus adjusted to
ch. i., it is no less clear that i. 1-ii. 3 anticipates what is
to follow, and purposely prepares the way for it.
1. The emphasis with which it is repeated at the close
of each creative act, "and God saw that it was good" (i.
4, 10, 12, etc.), and affirmed at the end of the whole, "be-
hold, it was very good" (ver. 31), would be unmeaning
except as a designed preliminary to the reverse which
was shortly to follow in the fall (ch. iii.). And this,
moreover, is necessary to explain the otherwise unac-
countable declaration (vi. 11 P), that "the earth was cor-
rupt before God," the mystery of which is unrelieved by
anything that P contains.
2. Ch. ii. 3 is evidently preliminary to the fourth com-
mandment (Ex. xx. 8-11), which again in its terms dis-
tinctly refers back to i. l-ii. 3. The ten commandments
in Ex. xx. are by the critics referred to E, with which,
according to Dillmann, J was acquainted. He must,
1 Geschichte der heiligen Schriften d. A. T., p. 257.
2 Biblische Urgeschichte, pp. 233, 234.
36 GENERATIOINS OF HEAVEN AND EARTH
therefore, have known and believed that the world was
created in six days, and can have written nothing in
Gen. ii., iii. inconsistent with this belief. This can only
be evaded by alleging that the commandments are not
preserved in Ex. xx. in their genuine original form. Dill-
mann disputes Ex. xx. 11, because a different reason is
given for observing the Sabbath in Deut. v. 15. But Ex.
xx. is the authentic transcript, while Deut. v. is a repro-
duction with hortatory modifications. This Dillmanna
admits in other instances; but Delitzsch very properly
contends that this is no exception. The rejection of the
verse is simply the usual device of the critics for dispos-
ing of whatever contravenes their hypothesis. Instead
of adapting their hypothesis to the phenomena presented
by the text, they insist upon remodelling the text into
accordance with their hypothesis. The advantage of
this method is that the critic can thus triumphantly es-
tablish whatever be sets out to prove.
CAIN AND ABEL--CAIN'S DESCENDANTS (CH. IV.).
It is said that vs. 17-24 is at variance with the rest of
the chapter, and with the J document generally in re-
spect both to the life of Cain and the fact of the deluge.
It is hence claimed that extracts from separate documents
have here been combined.
While Cain is represented in vs. 11, 14, as condemned
for the murder of his brother to be a fugitive and a wan-
derer in the earth, it is affirmed that, according to ver. 17,
he led a settled life and built a city. But (1) it then re-
mains to be accounted for, if these stories are in such
direct antagonism, that R could have put them to-
gether without explanation or remark, as though he per-
ceived no conflict between them and had no idea that his
readers would suspect any. (2) The fact is that Cain was
CAIN AND ABEL (CH. IV.) 37
expelled from the seat of God's presence, the society of
man, and cultivated land, to the wild steppes of the land
of Nod (so called from dnA wanderer, in his sentence),
equivalent to the nomad region. The Hebrew word for
city is in usage broad enough to cover a nomadic encamp-
ment (Num. xiii. 19; 2 Kin. xvii. 9). The dread lest his
murder might be avenged (ver. 14), betrayed itself afresh
in his constructing such a defence for himself and his
family, which subsequently may have grown from these
small beginnings1 into much larger proportions. The
the first huts on the site of
said to have laid the foundations of the city. (3) Cain
had previously been a "tiller of the ground." That he
continued to be an agriculturist is certainly not stated in
the text and is in fact inconsistent with it. The arts de-
veloped by his descendants are those of nomads, viz.,
pasturage, music, and metallurgy, but not the cultivation
of the soil. Jabal was "the father of such as dwell in
tents and have cattle," in a very different sense from that
in which Abel was a "keeper of sheep" at his paternal
home. (4) The explicit reference in iv. 24, where Lamech
speaks of Cain being avenged sevenfold, to the pledge
which the LORD had given him in ver. 15, shows very
plainly that both belong to the same continuous narra-
tive. Dillmann can find no escape from this but either
by putting the cart before the horse and supposing the
allusion to be the other way, and that ver. 15 was shaped
into conformity with ver. 24, or else by ejecting ver. 15a
from the text as an addition by R. Budde ("Biblische
Urgeschichte," pp. 184", 185) strangely imagines that the
language of Lamech gave rise to the story of Cain's
1Observe the form of statement in the Hebrew, which is significant,
hn,bo yhiy;va "he was building a city," as a work in progress, not "he
built it," as though it were completed by him.
38 GENERATIONS OF HEAVEN AND EARTH
A still more surprising inference from vs. 17-24 is that
the writer knew nothing of the interruption of human
history by the deluge. This inference hangs by a very
slender thread. As the invention of various arts is here
traced to the sons of Lamech in the line of Cain, the
conclusion is drawn that as the arts have been perpetu-
ated, so must the race have been that invented them;
which is an evident non sequitur. As though an art in-
vented by one race of men could not be adopted by an-
other race, and the knowledge of it be kept alive though
the original inventors had passed away. That the race
of Cain was extinct seems to be implied by the fact that
the genealogy breaks off as it does, without being con-
tinued, like every other genealogy in Genesis, to tribes or
persons existing in the writer's own day. Wellhausen in-
trepidly suggests that Cain is a collective name for the
Kenites, as in Num. xxiv. 22, who are thus traced up to
the origin of mankind; a piece of historical criticism akin
which finds an allusion to
gold of Parvaim" (2 Chron. iii. 6), since Parvaim is the
Wellhausen maintains that this section, in which the
arts of building cities, care of cattle, music, and metal-
lurgy are traced to the godless descendants of Cain is a
sequel to the narrative of the fall in chs. ii., iii., in which
the tree of knowledge bears forbidden fruit. The com-
mon idea in both, he claims, is that knowledge is peril-
ous, and Jehovah jealously restrains man from its posses-
sion; advancing civilization betokens growing corruption.
These two sections, pervaded by this idea, he sunders
from the J of the rest of Genesis, and supposes that they
belong to some antecedent document, J', which J has here
incorporated in his own production. Dillmann agrees
with him that the first half of ch. iv., containing the
story of Cain and Abel, is by a different writer from the
CAIN AND ABEL (CH. IV.) 39
second half of the chapter, containing the account of
Cain's descendants; but insists that it is the former and
not the latter which is by the author of the narrative of
the fall and is its continuation. And he points in evi-
dence of this to ver. 7b, which is repeated from iii. 16b;
trace the growth of sin, the beginning of which is de-
scribed in ch. iii., and the sameness of the diction as
shown in a number of words and expressions common
to vs. 1-16 and chs. ii., iii., as well as other passages re-
ferred to J. On the other hand, Budde ("Biblische
Urgeschichte," pp. 220, 221) points out coincidences
in expression between vs. 17-24 and various J passages.
Whereupon Dillmann concludes that if any significance
is to be attached to, these coincidences, the author of chs.
ii., iii. may himself have introduced vs. 17-24 from its
original source into his own document, regardless of the
discrepancy in ver. 17, not so much with a view to the
invention of arts as the development of crime as shown
in Lamech's impious speech. As it has already been
shown that there is no inconsistency between ver. 17 and
the preceding verses, the entire critical structure based on
that assumption collapses. Dillmann is right in link-
ing chs. ii., iii. with iv. 1-16, and Wellhausen in linking
those chapters with vs. 17-24. And there is but one
author for the whole.
MARKS OF J.
Dillmann finds the following points in common between
chs. ii., iii., and the diction of vs. 1-16.
1. hmAdAxE ground (vs. 2, 3, 10, 12). See ch. xxviii. 10-
22, Marks of J, No.4.
2. hd,WA field (ver.8). See chs. ii., iii., Marks of J, No.2.
This word is by no means peculiar to J. It occurs re-
40 GENERATIONS OF HEAVEN AND EARTH
peatedly also in P, e.g., xxiii. 9, 11, 13, 17, 19, 20, and
3. hmAdAxEhA dbafA till the ground (vs. 2, 12, as ii. 5; ill. 23).
As the phrase occurs nowhere else in the Hexateuch, its
absence from P sections is to be explained in the same
manner as its absence from all the rest of those that are
assigned to J. No alignment for a diversity of documents
can be derived from it.
4. wreGe drive out (ver. 14, as ill. 24). See ch. xxi. 1-21,
Marks of E, No.5.
5. yTil;bil; not to (ver. 15, as iii. 11). See chs. xviii., xix.,
Marks of J, No. 14.
6. hTAxa rUrxA thou art cursed (ver. 11, as iii. 14). This
verb is always referred either to J, E, or D, there being
no occasion for its employment in any of the passages as-
cribed to P.
7. The questions asked by the LORD (vs. 9, 10) are
similar to those in iii. 9, 13. These various points of
similarity between vs. 1-16 and chs. ii., iii. create a strong
presumption that they are from the same writer, as Dill-
mann urges, but afford no proof that he is distinct from
the author of the passages referred to P.
He also finds the following expressions in vs. 1-16,
which recur in J passages elsewhere:
8. JysiOh in the adverbial sense again (vs. 2,12). This
is uniformly referred to J or E, except in Lev. xxvi. 18.
9. Ol hrAHA be angry (vs. 5, 6). See chs. xviii., xix., Marks
of J, No. 30. 10.
10. hp, hcAPA open the mouth (ver. 11). This occurs but
twice besides in the Hexateuch (Num. xvi. 30, J; Deut.
xi. 6 D).
Budde finds the following indications of J in vs. 17-
11. dlayA beget (ver. 18). See chs. vi.-ix., Marks of P, No.
20; also under ch. x.
CAIN AND ABEL (CH. IV.) 41
12. xvhi MGa (ver. 22), she also. See ch. xxii. 20-24,
Marks of J, No.3.
13. vyHixA Mwev; (ver. 21) and his brother's name, as x. 25.
These are the only two instances in the Hexateuch in
which a second son is introduced by this particular for-
The divine names are appropriately used. It is to Je-
hovah, who had given her the promise of offspring, that
Eve gratefully ascribes the bestowment of her first child
(ver. 1). To Jehovah offerings are brought by Cain and
Abel (vs. 3, 4). It is Jehovah, who condescendingly re-
monstrates with Cain and explains to him the defect in
his offering and how it may be remedied (vs. 6, 7). It is
Jehovah again, the defender of his own people, who ar-
raigns Cain for his awful crime, and while sparing his
guilty life banishes him from his presence (vs. 9-16). It
is Jehovah upon whose name the pious race of Seth and
Enosh devoutly call, iv. 26.
It might at first sight appear surprising that Eve, who
had recognized the grace of Jehovah in the birth of Cain,
should speak of Seth as coming to her from Elohim (ver.
25). But there is a reason for this. The good gift of
God is set in contrast with the evil deed of man. "Elo-
him hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel;
for Cain slew him." It is to be observed that Elohim
here occurs in a J section; so that the critics themselves
must admit that it is discriminatingly used, and that there
is a special propriety in its employment.
THE GENERATIONS OF ADAM (CH. V. I-VI. 8)
ADAM TO N0AH (CH. V.)
THOSE who insist upon regarding the entire antedilu-
vian history of the, Bible as mythical, and on a par with
the early myths of heathen nations, labor, though with
small success, to find ancient parallels to the genealogy
contained in this chapter. The nearest approach to it is
the ten antediluvian kings of Chaldean story with reigns
on an average of 43,000 years each, as reported by Berosus.
Whether Lenormant is correct or not in giving them an as-
tronomical interpretation, their names plainly stand in
no relation to the names in this Scriptural list. The
sole point of resemblance is in the number ten; and this
is vague enough. Others have sought to find meanings
in the names mentioned in this chapter, which might
suggest the idea which lay at the basis of the genealogy
and account for its formation. They are interpreted by
Boettcher1 as indicative of the successive stages by which
the human race advanced in civilization; by Ewald2 as
in part at least the names of various deities; and by
Knobel as representing the Western Asiatics, while the
descendants of Cain denote the Chinese and other popu-
the intent of the sacred historian it simply traces the line
of descent from Adam to Noah in the pious line of Seth.
1Exegetisch-kritische Aehrenlese, pp. 4. 5.
ADAM TO NOAH (CH. V.) 43
Budde's inference from the names Jared (descent) and
Methuselah (man of weapon) that while the first five in
the line were good men, the last five, with the exception
of Enoch and Noah, were wicked, rests on purely fanci-
ful interpretations of the names.
The longevity attributed to the antediluvians has been
declared to be inconsistent with physiological laws; but
in our ignorance of the extent to which the conditions
affecting human life may have been modified, such an as-
sertion is unwarranted.
THE CAINITE AND SETHITE GENEALOGIES.
There is a remarkable similarity in the names of the
descendants of Seth in ch. v. and those of Cain, iv.17,
18, as shown in the following lists:
The six names in each column, beginning with Kenan
or Cain, are strikingly alike; and if Mahalalel be trans-
posed with Enoch, they will follow each other in the
same identical order. It is natural to conclude that this
cannot be altogether casual. Buttmann2 inferred that
these are variants of one and the same genealogy as pre-
served in two related but hostile tribes. In its original
intent it enumerated the early ancestors of the human
1Biblische Urgeschichte, p. 96. 2Mythologus, i., pp. 170-172.
44 THE GENERATIONS OF ADAM
race sprung from its first progenitor, who in one form of
the myth was called Adam and in the other Enosh, each
having the same signification (man). The two were sub-
sequently harmonized by making Enosh the grandson of
Adam. The names differed sufficiently for the race of
Seth to regard the Cainite tradition as distinct from
their own and descriptive of a godless race, and so Cain
was held to be the ancestor not of all mankind, but of
this hated tribe.
The majority of critics accept this identification of the
two genealogies, and have drawn other consequences
from it. Dillmann contended that the redactor has trans-
posed the story of Cain and Abel (iv. 1-16) from its true
position later in the history. Cain was not the Son of
Adam, but belongs where Kenan stands in the geneal-
ogy (v. 9), with whom he is identical; or, as he has mod-
ified his opinion in the latest edition of his "Commen-
tary," Cain and. Abel were not the only sons of Adam, but
were born subsequent to Seth. He thinks it strange
that the distinction between tillers of the ground and
keepers of sheep, and between bloody and unbloody offer-
ings, should be found in the first children of primeval
man; and that the advance from the first sin to fratri-
cide should be made so soon. This only shows that his
opinion differs from that of the author of the narrative.
He appeals also to the words of Cain (iv. 14), "Every
one that findeth me shall slay me," which imply a consid-
erable population; but he forgets how greatly the de-
scendants of Adam may have multiplied by the time that
he attained his one hundred and thirtieth year (v. 3, cf.
iv. 25). Wellhausen goes so far as to identify Abel with
Jabal (iv. 20), "the father pf such as have cattle." But--
1. That Wellhausen's wild conjecture expressly contra-
dicts the statements of the history is obvious. And it
requires not a little critical manipulation to carry through
ADAM TO NOAH (CH. V.) 45
the hypothesis of Dillmann. In iv. 25 the word "again,"
in the first clause, and the whole of the last clause after
the word fraz, seed, viz., "another instead of Abel, for Cain
slew him," must be thrown out of the text as an interpo-
lation by R. The statement (iv. 1) that Cain was the son
of Adam and Eve must be gotten out of the way, if he is
to be made the same as Kenan the son of Enosh (v. 9).
And R must have reversed the order of the statements in the
chapter for no very intelligible reason.
2. The distinctness of these genealogies is expressly
affirmed. That in iv. 17, 18, J, professes to record the
descendants of Cain after his murder of Abel and his re-
moval to the
the descendants of Seth, a different son of Adam. The
critics cannot consistently claim that this is merely a
variant representation by J and P of what is in fact the
same thing, but which R has erroneously set down as
two quite separate lines of descent. For by their own
hypothesis J (iv. 25, 26) traces the line "Adam, Seth,
Enosh" precisely as is done by P (v. 3-6); and v. 29 is
attributed to J as another fragment of the same line.
From this the critics infer that the document J must have
contained a complete genealogy from Adam to Noah par-
allel to that of P, though the greater portion of it has
been omitted by R as superfluous repetition. Now these
broken and scattered links of J utter the same voice with
the full record of P, that Noah and his father Lamech
were descended not from Cain but from Seth. Both
these genealogies in substantially their present form
were, therefore, according to the critics contained in the
document of J, who in this followed the sources whence
he derived his history. This is a confession that the
same writer can have recorded them both; consequently
their presence in the existing text of Genesis affords no
argument for critical partition. The unity of Genesis is
46 THE GENERATIONS OF ADAM
not affected by the alleged conversion of one genealogy
into two, which on the critics' own theory must have oc-
curred, if at all, in the course of its oral transmission
prior to the writing of the book of Genesis, or even of
the document J, which is held to be one of its oldest
And in regard to this it would appear that a sweeping
conclusion is drawn from very slender premises. Sup-
pose that we are unable to account for the coincidence
of names, does it follow that the persons represented by
them never existed? Delitzsch directs attention to the fact
that but two names are the same in the entire series,
viz., Enoch and Lamech: and in both cases statements
are made which show that the persons are quite dis-
tinct. The first of these names means initiation or con-
secration, and might very well be applied in the former
sense to the first son of Cain born in exile, as subse-
quently to the first-born of Reuben (Gen. xlvi. 9), and in
the latter sense to that holy man who walked with God
and was not, for God took him. The meaning of the
name Lamech is unknown; but the identification of the
persons so called is forbidden by the speeches preserved
from them, which reflect totally diverse characters. Cain
and Kenan, Irad and Jared are distinct not merely in
their form but in their radical letters and probable sig-
nification. So is the second and determining member in
the compound names Methushael and Methuselah. Ma-
halalel, praise of God, which stands over against Mehu-
jael, smitten of God, may suggest that the descendants of
Cain have names with a bad meaning and those of Seth
have names with a good meaning.
The meaning of most of these ancient names cannot
now be ascertained. Several of them do not appear to
be Hebrew. And it is doubtful whether even those
which simulate Hebrew forms may not be merely modi-
ADAM TO NOAH (CH. V.) 47
fications of some unknown original to adapt them better
to the Hebrew ear. It is not surprising if these parallel
lists of unintelligible names should undergo changes in
their transmission through long centuries, and if they
should, whether with or without design, be gradually con-
formed to one another. The disposition to produce like-
sounding contrasts, as in Isa v. 7 FPAw;mi ... hPAW;mi,
hqAdAc; . . . hqAfAc;, or by slight modifications as of Beel-
zebub into Beelzebul, or Shechem into Sychar, to give a
different turn to the meaning of words, may easily have
been operative. The LXX. has two more names alike in
both lists than the Hebrew, which indicates a tendency
in such cases to come into a closer approximation in the
course of repeated transcription. The Mohammedan
Cain and Abel are Kabil and Habil; see
Koran, note to ch. v. 30.
Dillmann thinks that the composite character of the
book of Genesis is shown more plainly in the duplicate
mention of the birth of Seth and Enosh (iv. 25,26 ; v. 3-
6) than anywhere else. Why should the same writer
thus repeat himself? The supplementary critics, as Tuch,
held that J inserted iv. 25, 26, in order to effect the tran-
sition from the preceding account of Cain and his de-
scendants to that of the line of Seth. The more recent
critics follow Hupfeld, who regarded these verses, as to-
gether with v. 29, the remnants of J's genealogy from
Adam to Noah parallel to that of P in ch. v. R, while
omitting the greater portion as superfluous repetition, saw
fit to retain these three verses because of the additional
information which they convey. He inserted v. 29 in
the body of P's genealogy, but preserved iv. 25, 26 dis-
tinct. Now it is difficult to see why the same motive, be
48 THE GENERATIONS OF ADAM
it what it might, which could determine R not to blend
iv. 25, 26 with the corresponding verses of ch. v. as is
done with v. 29, might not be similarly influential with
the original writer. Some reasons for such a separate
statement naturally offer themselves.
1. These closing verses of ch. iv. are necessary to the
proper understanding of ch. v. While the insertion of those
statements in this chapter would have been confus-
ing and would have marred its symmetry, it was impor-
tant to set v. 3 in its true light in relation to iv. 1, 2.
The critics say that they are contradictory, since they
infer from v. 3 that according to P Seth was the first
child of Adam. But this is not necessarily implied any
more than Ex. ii. 1, 2 implies that Moses was the oldest
child of his parents, though ver. 4 declares the contrari-
not to speak of Ex. vii. 7. To make the matter perfectly
plain to the reader, iv. 25 distinctly states that Seth was
born after the murder of Abel. And then iv. 26 was
added to indicate the character of the godly race of Seth
in contrast with the ungodly race of Cain, and thus pre-
pare the way for the sparing of Noah and his house
when the rest of mankind perished in the flood.
2. Another reason for putting these statements at the
close of ch. iv. grows out of the original plan of the book
of Genesis and its division into successive sections each
in a manner complete in itself and introduced by its own
special title. The section ii. 4---ch. iv. had recorded a
constant descent from bad to worse, the sin of our first
parents, their expulsion from paradise, the murder of
Abel, Cain's descendants reaching in Lamech the climax
of boastful and unrestrained violence. That the section
might not be suffered to end in unrelieved gloom a
brighter outlook is added at the close, precisely as is
done at the end of the next section in vi. 8. Seth is
substituted for Abel, whom Cain slew, and instead of
ADAM TO NOAH (CH. V.) 49
piety perishing with murdered Abel it reaches a new de-
velopment in the days of Enosh.
The whole arrangement bears evidence of adaptation
and careful thought, and is suggestive of one author, not
the combination of separate compositions prepared with
no reference to each other.
A further indication of the same sort, implying the
original unity of these chapters, is their correspondence
with the general plan of Genesis in respect to genealo-
gies. Uniformly the divergent lines are first traced be-
fore proceeding with the principal line of descent leading
to the chosen people. In ch. x. the various nations of
mankind sprung from the three sons of Noah; then (xi.
10 sqq.) the line from Shem to Abram. Nahor's descend-
ants (xxii. 20 sqq.), those of Keturah (xxv. 1 sqq.), and of
Ishmael (vs. 13 sqq.), before those of Isaac (vs. 19 sqq.).
Those of Esau (xxxvi. 1 sqq.) before those of Jacob
(xxxvii. 2 sqq.). In like manner the degenerate and God-
forsaken race of Cain is traced (iv. 17 sqq.) before
proceeding with that of Seth (ch. v.).
It should be remarked here that no computation
of time is ever built in the Bible upon this or any other
genealogy. There is no summation of the years from
Adam to Noah, or from Noah to Abraham, as there is of
the abode in
the exodus to the building of the temple (l Kin. vi. 1).
And as the received chronologies and the generally ac-
cepted date of the flood and of the creation of the world
are derived from computations based on these genealo-
gies, it ought to be remembered that this is a very pre-
carious mode of reckoning. This genealogy could only
afford a safe estimate of time on the assumption that no
50 THE GENERATIONS OF ADAM
links are missing and that every name in the line of descent
has been recorded. But this we have no right to take
for granted. The analogy of other biblical genealogies
is decidedly against it. Very commonly unimportant
names are omitted; sometimes several consecutive names
are dropped together. No one has a right, therefore, to
denominate a primeval chronology so constructed the
biblical chronology and set it in opposition to the de-
ductions of science, and thence conclude that there is a
conflict between the Bible and science. See the article
on this subject in the Bibliotheca Sacra for April, 1890.
MARKS OF P.
Dillmann finds the following indications of P in this
1. The back reference from -vs. 1-3 to i. 26-28. But
it is linked to the same extent and in precisely the same
manner with J sections. The genealogy is traced (ver.
32) to Noah and his three sons, all of whom are similarly
named in ix. 18 J; ver. 29 refers back to iii. 17 J. The
critics say that ver. 29 is an insertion by R. They say
so because their hypothesis requires it and for no other
reason. It might just as well be said that R inserted
vs. 1, 2, and modified ver. 3. Both passages stand on
the same footing, and should be dealt with in the same
2. The formality and precision of statement. This is
the uniform style of the genealogies leading to the chosen
race as distinguished from those belonging to the diver-
gent lines, whether attributed to P or J.
3. tlol;OT generations (ver. 1). See chs. vi.-ix., Marks
of P; No. 1.
4. tUmD; likeness (vs. 1, 3). See ch. i. 1-ii. 3.
5. Ml,c, image (ver. 3). This word occurs here and
SONS OF GOD AND DAUGHTERS OF MEN (VI.1-8) 51
ix. 6, with specific allusion to i. 26, 27; and besides in
the Hexateuch only Num. xxxiii. 52 J.
6. hbAqen;U rkAzA male and female (ver. 2). See chs. vi.-ix.,
Marks of P, No. 12.
7. dyliOh beget (vs. 3 sqq.). See chs. vi.-ix., Marks of P,
8. Myhilox<-tx, j`l.ehat;hi walk with God (vs. 22, 24).
This phrase occurs besides vi. 9 P, and nowhere else in
the Old Testament. The nearest approach to it is walk
before God (xvii. 1 P; xxiv. 40 J; xlviii. 15 E).
The assertion that according to this writer "this first
age of the world was still a time of rest and primitive
perfection, into which corruption did not penetrate till
toward its close" (vi. 9 sqq.), is gratuitous and un-
founded. It has no basis whatever in the sacred text.
The universal corruption described in vi. 11, 12; finds its
only explanation in the fall of man (ch. iii.), and the sub-
sequent development and spread of evil (ch. iv.; vi. 1-8),
and proves conclusively that these passages cannot be
separated and assigned to distinct sources.
The names of God are appropriately used in this chap-
ter. Elohim is rendered necessary in ver. 1 by its refer-
ence to i. 27, and Jehovah in v. 29 by its reference to
iii. 17. Elohim is required in vs. 22, 24, since walking
with God is a general designation of piety as contrasted
with what is earthly and sensual.
THE SONS OF GOD AND THE DAUGHTERS OF MEN
(CH. VI. 1-8)
In regard to the paragraph Gen. vi. 1-8, the most re-
cent critics have fallen back upon the position taken up
by fragmentists, such as Vater, who affirmed that it was
not only disconnected with the genealogy in ch. v.,
which precedes, and with the account of the Hood which
52 THE GENERATIONS OF ADAM
succeeds it (vi. 9 sqq.), but that it falls apart itself into
two unrelated paragraphs (vs. 1-4) concerning the pri-
meval giants, J', and (vs. 5-8) the divine purpose to
destroy the world and save Noah, J.
But the fact is that there is the most intimate connec-
tion throughout, and this passage can neither itself be
split into fragments nor sundered from the context in
which it stands. The genealogy in ch. v. conducts the
line of descent by regular steps from Adam to Noah,
pausing here because there was something to record
about Noah before proceeding further, and departing
from the analogy of the rest of the chapter by naming
three sons of Noah instead of one, as in the case of every
preceding patriarch, because they were all concerned in
what was to follow. The closing verse of ch. v. is thus
directly preparatory for the account of the deluge which
comes after. Further, this verse contains the statement
of Noah's age at the birth of his children, but the length
of his subsequent life and the duration of the whole,
which had been regularly given in the case of preceding
patriarchs, are here wanting. These are, however, sup-
plied (vii. 6) by the statement of Noah's age at the com-
ing of the flood, and then, after the account of the deluge
had been given and all that was to be said further about
Noah, there follows in the identical forms of the geneal-
ogy (ch. v.) the time that Noah lived after the flood and
the total of his years (ix. 28, 29). This is a clear indica-
tion that this genealogy, instead of being broken off and
terminated at the close of ch. v., is simply enlarged by
the insertion of the narrative of the deluge, which is in-
corporated within it. After this the divergent lines of
descent are introduced (ch. x.), and then the main gene-
alogy is resumed, and proceeds (xi. 10-26) until it
reaches the name of Abram, when it pauses, or rather is
enlarged again, to receive the history of the patriarchs.
SONS OF GOD AND DAUGHTERS OF MEN (VI.1-8) 53
Again, vi. 1-8 is formally linked to what precedes in
the original Hebrew by Vav Consecutive, and by the
statement of men's beginning to multiply on the face of
the earth, which sums up the substance of ch. v. in a
few words, the expansion of the race being indicated by
the statement repeated in the case of each patriarch,
"He begat sons and daughters." It is further appropri-
ate to the connection as preparing the way for what fol-
lows, by explaining the universality of the corruption
which was the moral cause of the flood. This is the
subject of vs. 1-4, which is accordingly intimately re-
lated to vs. 5-8, and leads directly to it, making that
clear which would otherwise be quite unaccountable.
The sons of God (vs. 2, 4) are not angels nor demi-
gods,1 whose intermarriage with the daughters of men
brought forth a race of monsters or superhuman beings.
1. This purely mythological conceit was foisted upon
the passage in certain apocryphal books like the book
of Enoch; also by Philo and Josephus, who were misled
by the analogy of ancient heathen fables. But it was
repelled by the great body of Jewish and Christian in-
terpreters from the earliest periods, though it has been
taken up again by a number of modern scholars. It is
assumed by them that a transgression of angels is here
spoken of, though the existence of angels has not been
before mentioned nor in any way referred to in the pre-
vious part of the book of Genesis. This view has no
sanction whatever in Scripture. Jude, vs. 6, 7, and 2
1The Targums and some other Jewish authorities understand by
"sons of God " nobles, men of high rank or official station, who in Ps.
lxxxii. 6 are denominated "sons of the Most High"; and by "daugh-
ters of men" women of inferior position, as in Ps. xlix. 2; lxii.9,
Mdx ynb are contrasted with wyx rnb as men of low degree with men
of high degree. But no such contrast is suggested here; and the in-
termarriage of different classes in society is nowhere represented as dis-
pleasing to God or provoking the divine judgment.
54 THE GENERATIOINS OF ADAM
Pet. ii. 4 have been tortured into sustaining it; but they
contain no reference to this passage whatever. And
there is no analogy anywhere in the Bible for the adop-
tion by the sacred writers of mythological notions in
general, or for the idea in particular of the intermarriage
of angels and men. Sexual relations are nowhere in
Scripture attributed to superior beings. There is no
suggestion that angels are married or are given in mar-
riage; the contrary is expressly declared (Matt. xxii. 30).
Male and female deities have no place in the Bible, ex-
cept as a heathen notion which is uniformly reprobated.
The Hebrew language does not even possess a word for
"goddess." The whole conception of sexual life, as con-
nected with God or angels, is absolutely foreign to He-
brew thought, and for that reason cannot be supposed to
be countenanced here.
2. The sole foundation for this mistaken interpreta-
tion is the allegation that "sons of God" must, accord-
ing to Scriptural usage, mean "angels;" which, how-
ever, is not the case. Even if that were the more -usual
and obvious interpretation of the phrase, which it is not,
the connection in which it stands would compel us to
seek a different meaning for it here, if that were possible,
and one which would be compatible with marriage.
Sons of God" Myhilox<hA yneB; is a poetic designation of
angels occurring three times in the book of Job (i. 6 ; ii.
1; xxxviii. 7) and a like expression Mylixe yneB; is found
twice in the Psalms in the same sense (xxix. 1; lxxxix.
6). Daniel iii. 25, NyhilAx< rBa "son of the gods," has also
been appealed to; but this has nothing to do with the
case, as it is the language of Nebuchadnezzar, and repre-
sents a genuine heathen conception. Angels are no-
where so called in the Pentateuch, nor anywhere in the
Bible but in the few passages already referred to.
3. On the contrary, "sons of God " is a familiar des-
SONS OF GOD AND DAUGHTERS OF MEN (VI.1-8) 55
ignation of the chosen race, the worshippers of the true
God. Moses is instructed to say to Pharaoh (Ex. iv.
22), Thus saith Jehovah, Israel is my son: let my son
go. So Deut. xiv. 1, Ye are the sons of Jehovah your
God. In the Song of Moses (Deut. xxxii.) this idea of
sonship occurs repeatedly. Ver. 5, They have dealt
corruptly with him, they are not his sons. Ver. 6, Is
Jehovah not thy father? Ver. 18, He is called the Rock
that begat thee, the God that gave thee birth: and the
people are called (ver. 19) his sons and his daughters.
Hos. i. 10, Ye are the sons of the living God; xi. 1, Is-
rael is called God's son. Isaiah in repeated passages
speaks of the people as God's sons (Isa. i. 2; xliii. 6 ;
xlv. 11). In Jer. xxxi. 20 the LORD calls Ephraim his
dear son, his favorite child. In Ps. lxxiii. 15 the pious
are called "the generation of God's children." And, on
the other hand, the worshippers of false gods are called
their children. Thus (Num. xxi. 29) the people of Moab
are spoken of as the sons and daughters of Chemosh.
Mal. ii. 11, an Israelite who had taken a foreign wife is
said to have married the daughter of a strange god. It
is in entire accord with this Biblical usage that the pious
race, who adhered to the true worship of God, are called
the sons of God in contrast with the descendants of
Cain, who had gone out from the presence of Jehovah,
and abandoned the seat of his worship entirely.
4. And this brings the verses before us into corre-
spondence with numerous other passages of the Penta-
teuch in its practical aim. The law of Moses again and
again forbids intermarriage with the Canaanites lest they
should contaminate Israel and seduce them to idolatry.
The book of Genesis inculcates the same lesson when it
depicts Abraham's concern about the marriage of Isaac
(xxiv. 3, 4), and that of Isaac and Rebekah about the
marriage of Jacob (xxvii. 46 ; xxviii. 1, 2), the distress
56 THE GENERATIONS OF ADAM
which Esau's marriage caused his parents (xxvi. 34, 35;
xxviii. 6-8), and the trials of Jacob's family at Shechem
(ch. xxxiy). If the verses before us point out the ruin-
ous consequences of the intermarriage of the godly race
with the ungodly, it furthers an aim which the writer of
Genesis and of the Pentateuch evidently had greatly at
heart. A warning not to intermarry with angels would
be altogether unmeaning.
5. This explanation of how it came to pass that the
pious portion of the race were infected with the uni-
versal degeneracy is not only appropriate in the connec-
tioni but is necessary to account for the universality of
the following judgment, which is repeatedly and largely
insisted upon. This is an integral and essential part of
the narrative, the omission of which would leave an un-
filled chasm. The primal source of human corruption
had been germinally shown in the fall (ch. iii.); the
degeneracy of the Cainites had been traced (ch. iv.).
Nothing but good, however, had thus far been said of the
race of Seth (iv. 26; v. 22, 24, 29). That this pious race
were themselves involved in the degeneracy which had
overtaken the rest of mankind, is here stated for the first
time. But this is necessary to explain why the whole
race of man, with the exception of a single family, should
be doomed to destruction.
6. The explanation now given is further confirmed by
ver. 3, where sentence is passed for the offence described
in the preceding verse. In what the offence consisted,
if the sons of God were angels, is not very obvious. It
is not illicit intercourse which is described; the terms
used denote lawful marriage. But if it was wrong for
the angels to marry women, the angels surely were the
chief offenders; and yet no penalty is denounced upon
angels. The divine sentence falls exclusively upon men.
There is such an obvious incongruity in this that
SONS OF GOD AND DAUGHTERS OF MEN (VI.1-8) 57
Budde1 insists that ver. 3 is an interpolation and does not
belong in this connection, but has been transferred from
the account of the fall of our first parents. The incon-
gruity that is alleged, however, does not show the verse
to be an interpolation, but simply that the mythological
sense which has been given to the passage is false.
7. The word Nephilim, occurring ver. 4, has given rise
to the strange deduction that this passage originally
stood in no connection with the account of the flood;
that the author of it in fact knew of no such event. The
only foundation for this inference is that the same word
is found again in N urn. xiii. 33, in the evil report of the
spies respecting Canaan. If the Nephilim here spoken
of were still in existence in the days of Moses, how could
there have been a catastrophe in the interval which swept
away all mankind except the family of Noah? But this
rests upon the unproved assumption that the Nephilim
of the book of Numbers were lineal descendants of those
of Genesis. And on this uncertain basis the author or
compiler of Genesis is charged with the absurdity of in-
troducing a passage as preliminary to the deluge, which
by its very terms implies that no deluge had taken place.
Could he have so grossly mistaken its meaning? Or is
it not possible that modern critics may have put a wrong
interpretation on these isolated verses? The mere fact
that the same term, "Nephilim," is applied both to ante-
diluvians and to Canaanites is a very slender premise on
which to base so extraordinary a conclusion. The word
is obscure in its meaning and its derivation. It is more
probably an appellative or descriptive term than a gen-
tile noun. The LXX. translates it "giants;" other old
Greek versions render it "assailants " or " violent men."
It does not occur again in the narrative of the conquest
of Canaan, as though it were the proper name of a tribe,
1 Biblische Urgeschichte, p. 30.
58 THE GENERATIONS OF ADAM
but only in the report of the spies, whose excited imagi-
nation could best express the terror inspired by these
men of great stature and powerful frame by saying that
they were the old giants revived.
It is further to be observed that the Nephilim are not
said to have sprung from the union of the sons of God
with the daughters of men. The statement is that the
Nephilim were in the earth prior to these intermarriages,
and also after these intermarriages had taken place. But
it is not said that they were in any case the fruit of such
marriages. The critics, however, tell us that though this
is not expressly stated, it is implied. This is by no
means necessarily so. But Suppose it to be granted; the
mythological interpretation is an impossibility neverthe-
less. The idea that the Nephilim were a superhuman
race sprung from the union of angels with the daughters
of men is completely nullified by the explicit declaration
that the Nephilim existed before such marriages took
place as well as after. No new species of creature can
be intended, therefore, whose origin is traced to the in-
termarriage of different orders of beings.
8. It is objected that "the daughters of men" must
have the same universal sense in ver. 2 as in ver. 1; and
that the contrast of "the sons of God" with "the daugh-
ters of men" shows that different orders of being are
here referred to. But this contrast works precisely the other
way. It has been already shown that in Scripture lan-
guage the sons of God are his chosen people--the God-
fearing race. In contrast with them "the daughters of
men" are necessarily limited to the rest of mankind, the
ungodly mass. Abundant illustrations can be given of
the restriction put upon universal terms by their context.
In Jer. xxxii. 20 God is said to have set signs and won-
ders in the land of Egypt, in Israel, and among men. It
is said of the wicked (Ps. lxxiii. 5), "They are, not in
SONS OF GOD AND DAUGHTERS OF MEN (VI.I-8) 59
trouble as men; neither are they plagued like men." In
Judg. xvi. 17, Samson says: "If I be shaven I shall be-
come weak and be like all men." No one has ever in-
ferred from these passages that Egypt and Israel, the
wicked and Samson, belonged to some other race of be-
ings because they are set in contrast with "men." The
universal term is restricted by its connection; and hence
the English version properly inserts the word "other "
and reads "other men."1 A precisely parallel case may
be found in the sentence pronounced upon the serpent
(Gen. iii. 15), "I will put enmity between thee and the
woman, and between thy seed and her seed." The seed
of the woman interpreted by the following verse and
taken in its unlimited sense would denote all her de-
scendants. But the contrast with the seed of the serpent
necessarily limits it to those of her race who have not
fallen under the power of evil, and of whom alone it can
be said that they shall bruise the serpent's head.
9. Whatever interpretation be put upon doubtful ex-
pressions in ver. 3, it plainly intimates the divine pur-
pose to inflict some penalty affecting the life of the whole
human race. "His days shall be an hundred and twenty
years," if spoken of the generation then living, would
mean that they should not survive that limit; if of suc-
cessive generations of men, that this should henceforth
be the term of human life. The former is demanded by
1Professor Strack (Comment. on Genesis, p. 21.) refers likewise to
several other passages in which general terms are limited by the con-
nection, e.g., Gen. xiv. 16, "the women and the people," i.e., the rest
of the people; or in which the same expression is used first in a uni-
versal and then in a restricted sense. In Judg. xix. 30 "the children of
Israel "means the entire people, but in the immediately following
verses (xx. 1-3) all except Benjamin. In 1 Sam. xiii. 6 "the people "
first means the whole, then a portion, and in ver. 7, "all the people "
means the rest of the people. So Lev. viii. 15, "the blood " and
"the" (rest of the) "blood." Compare Ex. xxix. 12; Lev. iv. 7, 18,
25, 30, 34.
60 THE GENERATIONS OF ADAM
the context. The latter is preferred by, critics whose
uniform usage is to interpret at variance with the context,
if possible. It is here absolutely without support.
There is no suggestion anywhere that the duration of
human life was ever fixed at one hundred and twenty
years. It is contradicted by all that is recorded of the
ages of subsequent patriarchs from Noah to Jacob.
This verse, then, explicitly points to a catastrophe, in
which that whole generation should be involved, and
which should take place in one hundred and twenty years.
10. Finally, it is to be remarked that the argument
for diversity of writers is not here rested in any measure
upon differences of diction and style. The attempt which
is made in this connection to analyze one of the so-called
Pentateuchal documents still further into primitive and
secondary portions, and to assign vi. 1-4, with a few other
brief passages, to J', in distinction from J", is stoutly re-
sisted by Dr. Dillmann,1 who says, "Aim, the writer's
style and linguistic peculiarities are alike throughout the
alleged older and more recent J passages; and one can-
not see how the later writer could succeed in imitating
the primitive document in so deceptive a manner; more-
over, the differences between the passages of the
alleged primitive document are actually much greater than be-
tween it and that which is alleged to be secondary."
Budde,2 too, has pointed out in detail the exact conform-
ity of vi. 1, 2, in all its clauses and expressions, to the
language of other passages, which are ascribed by the
critics to the document J.
This passage has been considered thus at length in
1Die Biieher Ntimeri, Deuteronomium und Josua, P. 632, so, too,
Genesis, p. 89, and yet on p. 117 he not very consistently concludes that
vs. 1-4 is a paragraph from a more ancient document which J has incor-
porated into his work, and has modified the style of vs. 1, 2, into con-
formity with his own.
2 Biblische Urgeschichte, p. 6.
SONS OF GOD AND DAUGHTERS OF MEN (VI.1-8) 61
order to show how futile is the critical allegation that
the opening verses of ch. vi. are imbued with mytho-
logical ideas, and have been inserted here from some un-
known document, and made to bear a sense at variance
with their original and proper meaning. We have before
seen how groundless is the assertion that iv. 17-24 im-
plies that there had been no deluge. Neither is there
any such implication in xi. 1-9. The further conclusion
that these passages are isolated extracts from a common
source, which knew nothing of any such catastrophe,
falls of itself.
MARKS OF J.
Dillmann finds the following indications of J in vs. 1,
1. Jehovah. The divine names will be considered
2. lHehe begin, also in P (Num. xvii. 11, 12) (E. V. xvi.
3. hmAdAxEhA yneP;-lfa on the face of the ground. Though
hmAdAxE is made a criterion of J, and its presence in a pas-
sage is held to warrant its reference to J, it nevertheless
occurs in P (Gen. i. 25; vi. 20; ix. 2). And it is only by
critical artifice that hmAdAxE yneP; (viii. 13b) is excluded from
P, though it is enclosed between vs. 13a, 14, which are
both attributed to P, and it is the direct continuation of
13a, and is in structure conformed to vi. 12, P. The
occurrence of Cr,x, in 13a and of hmAdAxE in 13b does not
justify the assumption of different sources any more than
the same change in vii. 3, 4, or in viii. 7, 8; see also vs.
9, 11, where no one dreams of a difference of sources.
4. MdAxAhA Though Adam is used as a proper noun in
P, it is also treated as a common noun, and as such has
the article in i. 27; vii. 21; ix. 5, 6.
5. bOF in a physical sense. So in P (Gen. i. 4; xxv. 8 ;
62 THE GENERATIONS OF ADAM
Lev. xx-vii. 102 129 14, 33; Num. xiv. 7; xxx-vi. 6). If it is
not applied to personal beauty in P, the simple reason is
that the critics do not assign to P any passage in which
this idea is expressed.
6. rc,ye imagination. This word occurs but three times
in the Hexateuch (Gen. vi. 5; -viii. 21; Deut. xxxi. 21),
and is uniformly by the critics referred to J.
7. qra only. This word, which occurs repeatedly in J,
E, and D, does not chance to be found in the passages
attributed to P.
8. bc.efaq;hi to be grieved. This verb is here found in a
J passage (vi. 6). It occurs twice besides in the Hexa-
teuch, once in the same (Hithpael) form (xxxiv. 7), and
once in a different species (Niphal) (xlv. 5). The critics
claim them all for J, but in so doing have to resort to a
somewhat violent procedure. Ch. xxxiv. 7 is in a P con-
nection, the preceding verse and the following verses be-
ing given to P; but ver. 7 has this J word, an E phrase,
"which ought not to be done " (cf. xx. 9), and a D phrase,
"wrought folly in Israel " (Deut. xxii. 21), a combination
which is readily explained on the assumption of the unity
of the Pentateuch, but on the principles of the divisive
critics is sufficiently puzzling. So without more ado the
refractory verse is cut out of the connection to which it
manifestly belongs, and the entire conglomerate is made
over to J. Gen. xlv. 5 is in an E connection, and con-
tains what are regarded as E characteristics, but is split
in two in order to give this verb to J.
9. hHAmA blot out, destroy. See under chs. vi.-ix., Marks
of P, No. 19.
10. NHe xcAmA find favor. It is not surprising that this
expression, which naturally has its place chiefly in narra-
tive sections, does not occur in P, to which only occa-
sional scraps of ordinary narrative are assigned. And
yet it requires some nice critical surgery to limit it to J.
SONS OF GOD AND DAUGHTERS OF MEN (VI.1-8) 63
Gen. xxxiv. 11 is in a P connection. Shechem there con-
tinues the entreaty begun by his father (vs. 8-10, P), and
the sons of Jacob make reply to Shechem as well as to his
father (vs. 13-18, P). Nevertheless this verse is sundered
from its connection and given to J on account of this very
11. "Human feelings attributed to God" (vi. 6, 8).
Elohim is the general term for God, and describes him
as the creator of the world and its universal governor,
while Jehovah is his personal name, and that by which
he has made himself known as the God of a gracious rev-
elation. Hence divine acts of condescension to men and
of self-manifestation are more naturally associated with
the name Jehovah; whence it follows that anthropo-
pathies and anthropomorphisms occur chiefly in Jehovah
sections. But there is no inconsistency between the
ideas which these are intended to suggest and the most
spiritual and exalted notions of the Most High. The
loftiest conceptions of God are, throughout the Scriptures,
freely combined with anthropomorphic representations.
His infinite condescension is no prejudice to his supreme
exaltation. These are not different ideas of God sepa-
ately entertained by different writers, but different as-
pects of the divine Being which enter alike into every
true conception of him. The writer of 1 Sam. xv. 35
does not hesitate to say, "Jehovah repented," though he
had said but a few verses before (ver. 29), "he is not a
man that he should repent." The prophet Amos de-
scribes Jehovah's majestic greatness in lofty terms (v. 8),
and yet speaks of his repenting (vii. 3), and of his smelling
the odors of Israel's offerings (v. 21). "Jehovah smelled
a sweet savour" (Gen. viii. 21, J), is identical in thought
and language with the constant phrase of the ritual, "a
sweet savour unto Jehovah" (Lev. i. 13, P; cf. Lev. xxvi.
31). There is, accordingly, no incompatibility between
64 THE GENERATIONS OF ADAM
the representations of God as Jehovah and as Elohim.
These supplement and complete each other, and there is
not the slightest reason for imputing them to the variant
conceptions of distinct writers.
Jehovah is used in vs. 3, 5-8 because the reference is
to his plan of grace and salvation, which the growing
wickedness of men threatened to defeat: in order to pre-
vent this frustration of his purpose he determines to de-
stroy the entire human race with the exception of right-
eous Noah. Elohim is used in ver. 2, because of the
contrast between the human and the dime, those of
an earthly and those of a heavenly mind--between the
daughters of men and the sons of God.
THE GENERATIONS OF NOAH (CH. VI. 9-IX. 29)
THE FLOOD (CH. VI. 9-IX. 17)
IN the passages hitherto examined the portions referred
respectively to P and J have been separate sections; and
an ostensible ground of partition has been found in the
alternation of divine names, in difference of subject, or in the
varied treatment of the same theme. But now and
henceforward P and J are supposed to be blended in
what has every appearance of being one consistent and
continuous narrative. And great critical tact and skill
are needed to separate what has been so intimately
joined together. Nevertheless the narrative of the deluge
is counted one of the firmest supports of the divisive hy-
pothesis. It is affirmed that--
1. When properly disentangled chs. vi.-ix. will be
found to contain two entirely distinct accounts of the
deluge, each complete in itself, and that these differ irrec-
oncilably in several respects.
2. There are repetitions which show that two different
accounts have been put together.
3. The alternation of divine names in successive para-
graphs shows that these have proceeded from different
4. The same thing can be inferred from diversities of
language and style.
66 THE GENERATIONS OF NOAH
THE CRITICAL PARTITION OF GEN. VI. 5-IX. 17.
The Prophetic Narrator, J, in Italic.
The Priestly Writer, P, in Roman.
The Redactor in Brackets.
VI. 5. And the LORD saw that the wickedness of man
was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the
thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6. And it
repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth,
and it grieved him at his heart. 7. And the LORD said,
I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of
the ground [both man and beast, and creeping thing, and
fowl of the heaven]; for it repenteth me that I have made
them. 8. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.
9. THESE ARE THE GENERATIONS OF NOAH:
Noah was a righteous man, perfect in his- generations:
Noah walked with God. 10. And Noah begat three sons,
Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 11. And the earth was cor-
rupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.
12. And God saw the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt;
for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
13. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is
come before me; for the earth is filled with violence
through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the
earth. 14. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms
shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and
without with pitch. 15. And this is how thou shalt make
it: the length of the ark three hundred cubits, the breadth
of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. 16.
A light shalt thou make to the ark, and to a cubit shalt
thou finish it upward; and the door of the ark shalt thou
THE FLOOD (CH. VI.9-IX. 17) 67
set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third
stories shalt thou make it. 17. And I, behold, I do bring
the flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh,
wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; every
thing that is in the earth shall die. 18. But I will estab-
lish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt come into
the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy son's
wives with thee. 19. And of every living thing of all
flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark; to
keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.
20. Of the fowl after their kind, and of the cattle after
their kind, of every creeping thing of the ground after
his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep
them alive. 21. And take thou unto thee of all food that
is eaten, and gather it to thee; and it shall be for food
for thee and for them. 22. Thus did Noah; according
to all that God commanded him, so did he.
VII. 1. And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and
all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous
before me in this generation. 2. Of every clean beast thou
shalt take to thee seven and seven, the male and his female
and of the beasts that are not clean two, the male and his
female: 3. also of the fowl of the heaven, seven and seven,
male and female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the
earth. 4. For yet seven days, and I will cause it to
rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every
living thing that I have made will I destroy from off the
face of the ground. 5. And Noah did according to all that
the LORD commanded him. 6. And Noah was six hundred
years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth.
7. And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his
sons' wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of
the flood. 8. [Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not
clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon
the ground 9. there went in two and two, unto Noah into
68 THE GENERATIONS OF NOAH
the ark, male and female, as God commanded Noah]. 10.
And it came to pass after the seven days, that the waters of
the flood were upon the earth. 11. In the six hundredth
year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seven-
teenth day of the month, on the same day were all the
fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows
of heaven were opened. 12. And the rain was upon the
earth forty days and forty nights. 13. In the selfsame day
entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the
sons of Noah, and Noah's wife, and the three wives of
his sons with them, into the ark; 14. they, and every
beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind,
and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth
after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird
of every sort. 15. And they went in unto Noah into the
ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of
life. 16. And they that went in, went in male and female
of all flesh, as God commanded him: and the LORD shut
him in. 17. And the flood was forty days upon the earth;
and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was
lift up above the earth. 18. And the waters prevailed,
and increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went
upon the face of the waters. 19. And the waters pre-
vailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high
mountains, that were under the whole heaven, were
covered. 20. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters pre-
vail; and the mountains were covered. 21. And all
flesh died that moved upon the earth, both fowl, and
cattle, and beast, and every creeping thing that creepeth
upon the earth, and every man. 22. All in whose nostrils
was the breath of the spirit of life, of all that was in the
dry land, died. 23. And every living thing was destroyed
which was upon the face of the ground [both man, and
cattle, and creeping thing, and fowl of the heaven]; and
they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only was
THE FLOOD (CH. VI. 9-IX. 17) 69
left, and they that were with him in the ark. 24. And the
waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty
VIII. 1. And God remembered Noah, and every living
thing, and all the cattle that were with him in the ark:
and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the
waters assuaged; 2. the fountains also of the deep and
the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from
heaven was restrained; 3. and the waters returned from
off the earth continually: and after the end of an hundred
and fifty days the waters decreased. 4. And the ark
rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day
of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat. 5. And the
waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in
the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the
tops of the mountains seen. 6. And it came to pass at the
end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark
which he had made: 7. and he sent forth the raven, and it
went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from
off the earth. 8. And he sent forth the dove from him, to see
if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;
9. but the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and
she returned unto him to the ark, for the waters were on the
face of the whole earth: and he put forth his hand, and
took her, and brought her in unto him into the ark. 10. And
he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the
dove out of the ark; 11. and the dove came in to him, at
eventide; and, lo, in her mouth an olive leaf pluckt off: so
Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.
12. And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the
dove; and she returned not again unto him any more. 13.
And it came to pass in the six hundred and first year, in
the first month, the first day of the month, the waters
were dried up from off the earth; and Noah removed the
covering of the ark, and looked, and, behold, the face of the
70 THE GENERATIONS OF NOAH
ground was dried. 14. And in the second month, on the
seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dry.
15. And God spake unto Noah, saying, 16. Go forth of
the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons'
wives with thee. 17. Bring forth with thee every living
thing that is with thee of all flesh, both fowl, and cattle,
and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth;
that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be
fruitful, and multiply upon the earth. 18. And Noah
went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons'
wives with him: 19. every beast, every creeping thing,
and every fowl, whatsoever moveth upon the earth,
after their families, went forth out of the ark. 20. And
Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every
clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt-
offerings on the altar. 21. And the LORD smelled the
sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not
again curse the ground any more for man's sake, for that
the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth;
neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I
have done. 22. While the earth remaineth, seed-time and
harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and
day and night shall not cease.
IX. 1. And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said
unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth.
2. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be
upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of
the heaven, even all that moveth upon the ground, and
all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they de-
livered. 3. Every moving thing that liveth shall be food
for you; as the green herb have I given you all. 4. But
flesh with the life thereof, the blood thereof, shall ye
not eat. 5. And surely your blood of your lives will I
require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and
THE FLOOD (CH. VI. 9-IX. 17) 71
at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother
will I require the life of man. 6. Whoso sheddeth man's
blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image
of God made he man. 7. And you, be ye fruitful, and
multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and mul-
8. And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him,
saying, 9. And I, behold, I establish my covenant
with you, and with your seed after you: 10. and with
every living creature that is with you, the fowl, the
cattle, and every beast of the earth with you; of all that
go out of the ark, even every beast of the earth. 11.
And I will establish my covenant with you; neither
shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of the
flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy
the earth. 12. And God said, This is the token of the
covenant which I make between me and you and every
living creature that is with you, for perpetual genera-
tions: 13. my bow have I set in the cloud, and it shall
be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.
14. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over
the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud, 15. and
I will remember my covenant, which is between me and
you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters
shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16.
And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon
it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between
God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon
the earth. 17. And God said unto Noah, This is the
token of the covenant, which I have established between
me and all flesh that is upon the earth.
J NOT CONTINUOUS.
Let us now examine the portion of the narrative which
is assigned to J, and see whether it gives a complete ac-
72 THE GENERATIONS OF NOAH
count of the flood, with no breaks or interruptions. It
begins with vi. 5-8. We read in ver. 8, "But Noah
found grace in the eyes of the LORD." This implies that
the reader had already been made acquainted with Noah.
And so he had in the scriptural account, which details
his ancestry in ch. v.; but this is given by the critics to P.
No previous mention of Noah, or allusion to him is made
in the sections attributed to J; yet here he is spoken
of as a well-known personage. Evidently something is
wanting in J corresponding to what has been abstracted
from preceding chapters and assigned to P. The critics
endeavor to escape this difficulty by alleging that v. 29,
in which Noah is mentioned, belongs to J. But in doing
so they violate their own test. It is one of their criteria
for distinguishing these documents that in J the mother
gives name to the child, but in P the father; see Dillmann
on Gen. x-vi. 11. Consequently, on their own principles,
"And he (Lamech) called his name Noah" must belong
to P; and not to J. In ver. 7 we are told that the redac-
tor has inserted the second clause, "both man and beast,
and creeping, thing, and fowl of the heaven," because such
detailed enumerations are foreign to J's supposed style.
This is a confession that the text in its present form can-
not on critical principles be assigned to J. It does not
suit the hypothesis, but must be amended into conform-
ity -with the hypothesis. In other words, the hypothesis
must here be supported by an inference drawn from
the hypothesis. But this clause, though unwelcome to the
critics, cannot be omitted from the verse, for the plural
pronoun "them" at the end of it refers to these particu-
lars in this second clause, not merely to "man" in the
first clause, which would call for a pronoun in the singu-
lar; see "his heart," ver. 5.
If, however, we take ver. 7 as the critics have corrected
it leaving, out the second clause then it declares that the
THE FLOOD (CH. VI. 9-IX. 17) 73
LORD said, not to Noah but to himself, i.e., he resolved,
that he would destroy man, no mention being made of
the way in which this was to be effected, nor whether the
inferior creatures would be involved. J then springs at
once to vii. 1, where "the LORD said to Noah, Come thou
and all thy house into the ark;" though there is no
previous allusion in J to the fact that Noah had a family,
or that there was an ark, or any occasion for there being
an ark. To be sure, all this has been explained before;
vi. 10 speaks of Noah's three sons, and vs. 13-22 tell
how God told Noah of the coming flood and bid him
build an ark for the safety of his house and the various
species of living things, and that Noah did so. But all
this is assigned to P; there is not a word of it in J.
Clearly there is something missing in J; and just that is
missing which has been abstracted from the previous
narrative and given by the critics to P.
In vs. 7-10 we have J's account of Noah's entry into
the ark. But ver. 9, we are told, has been manipulated
by the redactor. The words "there went in two and
two," "male and female" and "God" are characteristics
of P. Here again the text is not in accord with the hy-
pothesis; a number of P's words and expressions are in
a J paragraph, and it must be the fault of the redactor.
But this is not all. There is not a verse in the para-
graph which is just as it should be, if the critics are
right. The detailed enumeration, "Noah and his sons,
and his wife, and his sons' wives" (ver. 7), instead of
simply Noah and all his house, as ver. 1, is foreign to J;
so in ver. 8, "beasts and fowls and every thing that creep-
eth," instead of "every living thing," as ver. 4; and
"waters of the flood"1 (vs. 7, 10) refer back to P's
1Noldeke says that the agreement of J and P is very remarkable in
the words lUBma flood, hbATe ark, and Hano Noah. Budde and Dillmann
try to escape the admission that ver. 7. J, refers back to ver. 6, P, by
arbitrarily transposing ver. 10 so as to stand before ver. 7.
74 THE GENERATIONS OF NOAH
phrase, vi. 17; vii. 6. It is said that the redactor "ap-
parently designed to bring the style a little more closely
into harmony with that of P." But why he should be so
concerned just here to alter expressions which he leaves
unchanged elsewhere, does not appear. And it is par-
ticularly surprising that he should of his own motion
introduce what the critics consider a discrepancy into
J's account. How could he make J appear to say in vs.
8, 9, "of clean beasts and of beasts that are not clean
. . . there went in two and two unto Noah into the
ark," in open contradiction, as the critics allege, with what
he had said just before in ver. 2,1 that clean beasts were
to go in seven and seven, and of beasts not clean two?
And yet we are told that the documents "are woven to-
gether in a highly artistic/manner," and the redactor's
work is "admirably" done. If this is so, he must have
been an intelligent person and could not have made
grossly contradictory statements within the compass of a
few lines without perceiving it. He certainly could have
seen nothing of the sort here, or he would not gratui-
tously have inserted a discrepancy in the text of his own
accord, which was not there in the document from which
he was copying. And if he did not see it, perhaps there
is no contradiction after all. It may be that the critics
are mistaken in fancying that there is one. And in
point of fact there is no discrepancy between the general
statement that two of every species, a male and a female,
entered the ark and the more particular declaration that
there were seven of every species of clean beasts and two
of those that were not clean. If, then, the redactor is in
harmony with J (vii. 2, 3), there is no discrepancy be-
tween J (vii. 2, 3) and P (vi. 19 ; vii. 15).
1 Kayser, p. 8, enlarges the text of vii. 3, to restore it to what he con-
ceives to be its primitive form. So, too, he modifies the text of vii. 7-9
into what he considers its primitive form. The fact that it is not as he
would reconstruct it, shows the falsity of his critical presuppositions.
THE FLOOD (CH. VI. 9-IX. 17) 75
In what follows, the semblance of continuity can only
be made out for J by means of scattered sentences and
clauses torn from their connection in an arbitrary man-
ner. Thus J proceeds to ver. 12, and then skips to 16b:
"And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty
nights . . . and the LORD shut him in." It is nat-
ural to ask why the LORD waited forty days before he
shut the door of the ark behind Noah. It is obvious
that the last clause of ver. 16 has no proper connection
with ver. 12, to which the critics attach it. It plainly
belongs where it stands in the text. The severance of
ver. 16 annuls the significant and evidently intended
contrast of the two divine names in this verse, to the
significance of which Delitzsch calls attention, thus dis-
crediting the basis of the critical analysis, which he nev-
ertheless accepts. Animals of every species went into
the ark, as Elohim, the God of creation and providence
directed, mindful of the preservation of what he had
made; Jehovah, the guardian of his people, shut Noah in.
The rise of the waters of the flood is depicted in vs.
17-20 in four successive stages. The critics arbitrarily
sunder one of these (ver. 17) from the rest, and assign it
to J. The destruction accomplished by the flood is simi-
larly described in three successive statements of grow-
ing intensity (vs. 21-23). Two of these are parted from
the remaining one and given to J (vs. 22, 23).
The next clause of J is viii. 2b, "and the rain from
heaven was restrained." Just before we read in vii. 24,
"the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty
days." The critics find a discrepancy between this and vii.
4, 12, according to which it rained forty days. The intel
ligent redactor has been at fault here again. He has in-
serted this clause respecting the stopping of the rain in
the wrong place. It should have preceded vii. 24, instead
of following it. But we may shelter ourselves behind
76 THE GENERATIONS OF NOAH
him once more. If he saw no impropriety in putting
this clause where he did, perhaps there was none. He
may not thus have brought J into conflict with himself
after all. If it had been said that the rain from heaven
was not restrained after one hundred and fifty days had
passed, there would, indeed, have been a discrepancy.
But where is the discrepancy in saying that it had
The last clause of viii. 2 is separated from the first,
one being given to J, and the other to P. But this is
severing what of necessity belongs together. We find
the same combination here as in vii. 11, 12, where the
sources of the flood are described, and the critics split
them asunder after the same fashion. These sources
were two, viz.: the rushing in of the waters of the ocean
upon the land, and the torrents descending from the sky.
The tenses of the Hebrew verbs at once indicate to the
reader that the bursting forth of the fountains of the
great deep and the opening of the windows of heaven
are separate items, while the fall of the rain is a sequence
of that which just preceded. The opening of the win-
dows of heaven prepares the way for the downpour, but
is not the downpour itself. The thought is not complete
until the actual fall of rain is added. Comp. Mal. iii. 10.
The opening of the windows of heaven cannot, therefore,
be attributed to one writer and the rain to another; both
belong indissolubly together. The same is the case with
viii. 2; the last clause is inseparable from the first. And
besides, "the rain from heaven" is evidently contrasted
with "the fountains of the deep," so that the two clauses
of the verse are bound together thus again. And ver. 3a
cannot be separated from ver. 2. The latter states that
the sources of the flood had ceased; but this would not,
of itself account for the subsidence of the water. The
stopping of the fountains of the deep and of the windows
THE FLOOD (CH. VI. 9-IX. 17) 77
of heaven are purely negative to this must, be added the
positive flowing off of the water, if the flood was to be
reduced. To sever this clause from P and give it to J,
as is done by the critics, leaves P's statement inadequate
and incomplete. And the phraseology used shows the
same thing; "the water returned;" whither? certainly
not to heaven (2b), but to the deep (2a), from which the
great body of them had come. So that if the word "re-
turned" is to have anything like its proper force, ver. 3a
is tied to 2a, and cannot be severed from it as the critics
Then the sending out of the birds (vs. 6-12) is given
to J. In vs. 13, 14, the drying of the earth is stated in
two stages; one of these (ver. 13b) is arbitrarily given to
J, and the other (ver. 14) to P. J makes no allusion to
Noah's leaving the ark, which is another serious break
in his narrative. This is spoken of, indeed, in the
Scripture account (vs. 15-19); but it is given to P. So
that here again we miss in J precisely what has been ab-
stracted by the critics and attributed to the other docu-
ment. J's account concludes with Noah's sacrifice (vs.
Instead, therefore, of a complete account with no in-
terruptions, we find in the portion assigned to J several
important gaps created purely by the critical partition;
other chasms scantily bridged by scattered clauses torn
from their context, in which they are indispensable, or
attached to passages where they are inappropriate; ex-
pressions which by critical rules cannot belong to J, and
require the assumption, which has no other basis than
the exigencies of the hypothesis, that the text has been
manipulated by the redactor; and discrpancies, so called,
which are wholly due to the redactor's gratuitous inter-
78 THE GENERATIONS OF NOAH
P NOT CONTINUOUS
Let us now see how it is with P. The first paragraph
assigned to him is vi. 9-22. We here read (vs. 11, 12),
"And God saw the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt;"
and so corrupt that he was determined to destroy it. The
form of expression here is with manifest allusion to i.31,
where P had said, "And God saw every thing that he had
made, and, behold, it was very good." The existing state
of things is plainly set in designed contrast to the state-
ment made at the creation. But not a word of explana-
tion is offered to account for this dreadful change. It is
indeed explained sufficiently in the Scripture narrative.
The intervening chapters tell us of the fall, of the grow-
ing degeneracy of the ungodly race of Cain, of the infec-
tion even of the godly race by intermarriage with the rest.
But all this is by the critics attributed to J; there is
nothing of the kind in P. Plainly something is missing
here; and just that is missing which the critics have
transferred to another document.
P then proceeds to tell that Noah was instructed to
build the ark, which he did, and records his age at the
coming of the flood (vii 6, 11), and his entry with some
of all living things into the ark (vs. 13-16).
The sacred writer labors to produce a vivid impression
of the enormous rise of the waters of the flood by de-
scribing it in four successive stages until it reached the
prodigious altitude which it actually attained. First
(ver. 17), the water rose sufficiently to float the ark.
Then (ver. 18) it rose very much higher still, and the ark
mounted aloft upon its surface. Next (ver. 19), it at-
tained such a height as to cover all the high mountains
within the entire horizon. Finally (ver. 20), it reached
its maximum, fifteen cubits above the mountain-tops.
THE FLOOD (CH. VI. 9-IX. 17) 79
This regular gradation is broken apart by the critics,
who assign the first or lowest stage to J, and the other
three stages to P, thus giving to each a truncated de-
scription, which when put together match precisely and
supply just what before was wanting in each. Is this
a lucky accident, or has not this entire description eman-
ated from one mind?
The sacred writer seeks again to give adequate expres-
sion to the destruction wrought by the flood by three
successive statements of increasing strength. First (ver.
21), he declares with emphatic particularity that all flesh
died, fowl and cattle and beast and creeping thing and
man. Then (ver. 22), in the most universal terms, "All
in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, of all
that was in the dry land, died." Finally (ver. 23), universal
and particular terms are combined, and the most forcible
expression for complete destruction added in contrast
with the sole survivors: "And every living thing was
wiped out which was upon the face of the ground, both
man and cattle and creeping thing and fowl of the
heaven; and they were wiped out from the earth; and
Noah only was left, and they that were with him in the
ark." Disregarding these climactic periods, which are
heaped together in order to intensify the contrast of the
last clause, the critics give the first of the sentences to
P, thus sundering it completely from what follows, the
result of which is to make P affirm, in the most absolute
manner, the universality of the destruction without so
much as a single survivor. The next two verses are
given to J in spite of the enumeration of particulars in
ver. 23, "both man and cattle and creeping thing and
fowl of the heaven," which, according to critical princi-
ples, is foreign to his style, and must be thrown out of
the text as an insertion by the redactor. The passage
does not correspond with the hypothesis, and is hence
80 THE GENERATIONS OF NOAH
corrected into conformity with it. And yet this clause,
which is objectionable to the critics and which they pro-
pose to eliminate, is one of the features of the verse
which adapts it to the climactic position that it occupies.
It has before been shown that viii. 2, 3, cannot be par-
titioned as the critics propose; and that the severance
of vs. 2b, 3, as an insertion from J, would leave P's
The narrative then proceeds after the same analogy to
describe the subsidence of the flood. And it may be
proper to note that the seven stages of the decline of the
water precisely correspond with the four stages of its
rise added to the three statements of its wide-spread deso-
lation. First (viii. 1), a wind passed over the earth,
J which served to reduce the volume of the water. Sec-
ondly (vs. 2-4), the sources of the flood had ceased, and
the water flowed off to such an extent that the ark rested
on the mountains of Ararat. Thirdly (ver. 5), the water
still further decreased and the tops of the mountains ap-
peared. Fourthly (vs. 6-9), as the water continued to
sink, a dove was sent forth after forty days, but the
flood was still at such a height that no resting-place
could be found. Fifthly (vs. 10, 11), after seven days
more the water had abated sufficiently for trees to
emerge, as was shown by the olive leaf plucked off by the
dove. Sixthly (ver. 12), the dove was sent out and re-
tuned no more. Seventh, and finally (ver. 13), the day
is noted on which Noah discovered that the water was
dried up from off the earth. This regular gradation is
spoiled by the critics, who assign (vs. 6-12) the mission of
the birds, to J; the consequence of which is that P
springs at once from ver. 5, the first appearance of the
mountain-tops, to ver. 13, where the waters were dried
up from off the earth.
The prominence given to the sending out of the birds
THE FLOOD (CH. VI. 9-IX. 17) 81
in the Chaldean account of the deluge, which is univer-
sally confessed to stand in an intimate relation to that
in Genesis, further shows that any narrative of the flood
would be incomplete if this were not included. Least
of all can this be questioned by those who maintain that
the Hebrew narrative was borrowed from the Chaldean.
The paragraph respecting the birds (viii. 6-12) is quite
devoid of any critical marks allying it to one or the other
of the documents, as is apparent from the history of its
treatment. From Astruc and Eichhorn to the supple-
mentary critics Tuch and Knobel, it was almost uni-
formly assigned to P. Stahelin is uncertain about it.
Reuss regards it as the sole surviving remnant of a third
account of the flood, distinct from the other two. Hup-
feld gives (ver. 7) the raven to J, and (vs. 8-12) the dove
to P. Friedrich Delitzsch reverses the matter, and gives
the raven to P and the dove to J. Kayser, Wellhausen,
Kuenen, Dillmann, and others assign the whole to J, in
which they were preceded by the eccentric Ilgen. The
motive which at present inclines the majority to J, ap-
pears to be twofold. Such a graphic incident is thought
to befit the more "picturesque" narrator, and this is the
most striking parallel with the cuneiform tablets, with
which J is held to stand in the closest relation. Both an
argument and an inference are supplied from these two
points of view of a somewhat circular character. It is as-
signed to J because he is picturesque and allied to the
tablets; and being so assigned proves him to be pictu-
resque and allied to the tablets. One cannot but feel
that if the critics had anything to gain by so, doing, they
might with equal ease have imputed to the writer of this
paragraph an alleged characteristic of P, and said that
his style was "stereotyped," and abounding in "regular
formulas" and the "repetition of like phrases," thus:
"And he sent forth the raven" (ver. 7); cf. "and he
82 THE GENERATIONS OF NOAH
sent forth the dove" (ver. 8); "and he stayed yet other
seven days and sent forth the dove" (twice, vs. 10, 12);
"waters were abated from off the face of the ground"
(twice, vs. 8, 11), cf. also ver. 9; "to him into the ark"
(twice, ver. 9); "going and returning," (twice (in Heb.),
vs. 3, 7), cf. ver. 5.
The drying of the ground is likewise stated in two
successive stages. First (ver. 13), the surface was so far
dried that the water had disappeared. Then (ver. 14),
the earth was dry. These are, as before stated, divided
by the critics between J and P.
P proceeds to tell of Noah's leaving the ark (vs. 15-
19). But he records no act of worship or thanksgiving
for this great deliverance. Yet he had spoken of Noah
as a righteous man, who walked with God (vi. 9). In
fact, throughout the entire patriarchal history P never
mentions an altar or sacrifice or any act of worship.
These are, indeed, spoken of repeatedly in the sacred
history; but they are invariably referred to other docu-
ments, never to P. And yet P, according to the critics,
is the priestly writer, who is especially interested in rit-
ual worship and in ceremonial matters. It is he who re-
cords the institution of the Sabbath (ii. 3), and of cir-
cumcision (xvii. 10), and the prohibition of eating blood
(ix. 4); and he never relates anything derogatory to the
patriarchs, but always exalts them as model men of God.
Is it conceivable that he should have omitted to mention
that Noah devoutly praised God for his merciful inter-
position on his behalf? Surely there has been an omis-
sion here; and the more evidently so, as a sacrifice is so
prominent a feature in the Chaldean account of the del-
It thus appears also that there are serious chasms in
P's account likewise, that the symmetry of the narrative
is spoiled in repeated instances by the proposed parti-
THE FLOOD (CH. VI. 9-IX. 17) 83
tion, and that passages are rent from their connection
and assigned to J, which are indispensable in the con-
text in which they stand.
NO SUPERFLUOUS REPETITIONS.
It is further claimed that there are repetitions which
betray the composite character of the narrative, and show
that it has been made up by combining two separate ac-
counts. But this is a mistake; there are no superfluous
repetitions to warrant such a conclusion. We are pointed
in the first instance to the opening verses. It is said
that vi. 5-7 contains J's account of the wickedness of
man and of the LORD'S purpose to destroy the race; then
follows, in vs. 11-13, P's account of the very same thing;
but a slight consideration of the circumstances will make
it appear that the critics' conclusion is altogether unwar-
ranted. The title (vi. 9), "These are the generations of
Noah," marks the beginning of a new section of the his-
tory, and indicates its subject to be the fortunes of Noah's
family. In entering upon this topic the writer first ex-
plains the situation with the view of placing distinctly
before the minds of his readers at the outset the causes
of what was about to take place. He commences by
stating the character of Noah (ver. 9b 1), which explains
the intimation in ver. 8 of the special favor shown to him.
He then recapitulates some statements previously made,
which are necessary to the understanding of the follow-
ing narrative. He speaks of Noah's three sons (ver. 10),
though they had been named in identical terms in v. 32,
which the critics likewise refer to P; no one thinks of
1Kayser (p. 8) says: "Noah was a righteous man and perfect in his
generations," belongs to J (see vii. 1); "Noah walked with God" to P,
(v 21). Other critics quietly ignore this identity of expressions, and
give the entire verse, which manifestly belongs together, to P.
84 THE GENERATIONS OF NOAH
a difference of writers because of this repetition. He
further speaks of the universal corruption (vs. 11, 12);
this had already been mentioned at the close of the pre-
ceding section (ver. 5) as a sequence from facts previously
stated.1 But it lay so at the basis of what was to be re-
corded in this new section that it is mentioned here again,
And there is no more reason for suspecting a diversity of
writers than there is in ver. 10, which all acknowledge to
be by the same writer as v. 32. It is just such a recapit-
ulation as any writer might be expected to make under
the circumstances. On the other hand, ver. 13 is not a
repetition of the statement made in ver. 7, but is an ad-
vance upon it. In ver. 7 mention is made of the LORD'S
purpose to destroy man; in ver. 13 this purpose is com-
municated to Noah, which is quite another thing.
In vs. 18-20, while directing Noah to build the ark.
God tells him the purpose for which it was to be made,
and that he was to take with him into it some of every
species of living things in order to keep them alive.
After the ark had been built, and the time for sending
the flood drew nigh, the LORD bade Noah to go into it
with his family and with some of every species of ani-
mals (vii. 1-3). But there is no superfluous repetition
here. Two distinct divine communications were made
at different times, and each is reported in its proper
The critics, however, lay great stress upon the fact that
the entry into the ark is twice recorded; vs. 7-92, they;
tell us, is J's account, and vs. 13-16 that of P. But this,
too, is a mistake; there is nothing here requiring the
1Noldeke (p. 16) remarks that other sections (v. 1; x. 1, and xi. 27)
in like manner begin with the repetition of what had been before
2Schrader and Dillmann give vs. 8, 9, to R; Noldeke gives vs. 7-9
to R as his elaboration of the originally brief words of the Jehovist.
THE FLOOD (CH. VI. 9-IX. 17) 85
supposition of distinct documents. It has been before
shown that vs. 7-9 cannot by critical rules be referred to
J, without a reconstruction of the text in each individual
verse. But besides this it is to be noted that ver. 6 gives
a general statement of Noah's age at the coming of the
flood; he was then six hundred years old. In ver. 11
this is stated again with more particularity, in order to
indicate the precise day on which the flood began, viz.,
the six hundredth year of Noah's life, the second month,
the seventeenth day of the month. The critics do not
find this repetition incompatible with the sameness of
the writer; vs. 6 and 11 are both alike referred by them
to P. In precisely the same manner, with the view of
exhibiting the precision of the divine arrangements, the
sacred writer points out the fact in vs. 13-16 that Noah
and all his company entered the ark on the self-same day
on which the flood broke forth; and the emphasis which
he puts upon this thought appears from the particularity
of detail and the iteration in these verses. Now why
should this repetition for this evident purpose be any
more suggestive of a diversity of writers than the like
repetition in regard to Noah's age?
The critics are embarrassed here by their own hypoth-
esis. Different views have been entertained in respect to
the relation of J and P. According to some critics J and
P each wrote a separate and independent document, and
these, after circulating singly for a time, were at length
combined by a redactor. These are known as docu-
mentary critics. Others have held that J did not write
a complete document of his own, but simply edited an
enlarged edition of P. The document P was made the
basis, to which J simply made additions, supplementing
it here and there as he had occasion. These are known
as supplementary critics.
In the case befol'e us the documentary make this point
86 THE GENERATIONS OF NOAH
against the supplementary critics, that no editor in sup-
plementing a pre-existing work, would introduce of his
own motion what was already in almost identical terms
in the work before him. Such a superfluous repetition
could only be accounted for by supposing that a redactor
was combining two works, for each of which he had a
great reverence, so that he was reluctant to omit any-
thing that either of them contained. Thus it came to
pass that after copying a statement from one of his
sources he finds the same thing stated likewise in the
other, and copies it also. This has a plausible sound.
It certainly silences the' supplementary critics. But
there are two insuperable difficulties in the way of ac-
cepting the solution which the documentary critics offer.
1. Judged by their own critical rules the compiler has
not preserved what was peculiar to J in vs. 7-10, but has
conformed it throughout to the style of P. 2. In other
cases he has not shown a similar care to preserve all the
contents of his Sources. Why has he not given a dupli-
cate account of the building of the ark, or of the exit
from it, as well as of the entry into it? The obvious
reason is that in the former there was no coincidence
in time to emphasize, as there was in the latter. Hence
the emphatic repetition in the one, whereas there was no
occasion for it in the others.
It has before been shown that the statements respect-
ing the rise of the waters, their destructiveness, and their
subsequent fall cannot be parcelled between different
writers; and that the attempt to find two parallel accounts
of these particulars by J and by P is not successful. The
verses and clauses which are given to J cannot be sun-
dered from the context in which they stand. Moreover,
the description of successive stages is not identical repe-
tition, and as such suggestive of distinct documents.
And if it were, four statements of the rise of the waters,
THE FLOOD (CH. VI. 9-IX. 17) 87
three of their destructive effects, and seven of their fall,
cannot be distributed between two documents without
leaving repetitions in each. More than two documents
are necessary, if each repetition is indicative of a sepa-
rate writer. The critical argument is in this case plainly
It should also be observed that like repetitions are
found in other cases which the critics quietly ignore, and
never think of tracing to a diversity of documents. Thus
the corruption and violence prevailing in the earth is stated
four times in as many successive clauses (vi. 11, 12); the
entry of all living things into the ark with Noah is re-
peated three times (vii. 14-16), where Dillmann remarks,
"It is as though the author, moved by the momentous
character of the day, could not do enough to satisfy him-
self in the detailed portraiture of the transaction." God's
establishment of his covenant with Noah is twice stated,
(ix. 9, 11); and the bow in the cloud as the token of the
covenant is mentioned again and again (ix. 12-17). In
all these cases the critics recognize but one writer. So,
too, the triple mention of the names of Noah's sons (v. 32;
vi. 10; x. 1) is given to P; the fourth mention of the
same (ix. 18) being assigned to J. A rule which plays
fast and loose in this manner at the pleasure of the op-
erator, is a very insecure dependence.
It has also been claimed that Noah's sacrifice and the
LORD'S resolve not to destroy all living things again (viii.
20-22), are parallel to God's blessing Noah, and his cove-
nant not to send another universal flood (ix. 1-17); and
that the former is the account of J, and the latter that of
P respecting the same thing. But these are not the same;
one is the sequel of the other; viii. 21, 22 states the di-
vine purpose, that "the LORD said in his heart;" in ix.
1-17 this purpose is made known to Noah.
The examination of the narrative of the flood thus
88 THE GENERATIONS OF NOAH
shows that so far from everything being duplicated,
nothing is duplicated from first to last except the entry
into the ark, and that for a special reason not suggestive
of two documents but excluding them.
THE DIVINE NAMES
It is still further urged that the alternation of divine
names in successive paragraphs of this narrative gives
evidence of its composite character. It is affirmed that
this requires the assumption of two different writers, who
were in the habit of using different terms in speaking of
the Most High. One (P) always spoke of him as "God"
(Heb., Elohim); the other (J) as LORD (Heb., Jehovah),
The narrative, as we possess it, has been made up from
the combination of the accounts in these two documents;
and hence the blending of these two names, as they are
here found. But this is a superficial and mechanical ex-
planation of what is really due to a different and more
There are two aspects, under which the flood can be
contemplated, and two points of view from which its
place and function in the sacred history can be regarded.
It may be looked upon as the act of the Creator, destroy-
ing the work of his hands because it had become corrupt
and so perverted from its original intent, and at the same
time providing for the perpetuation of the several species
of living things. Or, on the other hand, it may be con-
sidered in its relation to the work of redemption. The
wickedness of man threatened to put an end to the scheme
of grace and salvation; in order to prevent his merciful
designs from being thwarted thus, the Most High re-
solved to destroy the ungodly race, and rescue the one
surviving pious family to be the seed of a new race,
among whom true religion might be nurtured until it
THE FLOOD (CH. VI. 9-IX. 17) 89
should ultimately fill the whole earth. The sacred writer
has both these aspects of this great catastrophe in
mind, and he suggests them to his readers by the alter-
nate use of the divine names. When he has regard to
the divine government and providential care, as mani-
fested in it, he speaks of it as the act of Elohim. When
he has regard to his special guardianship over the pious,
or to aught that concerns divine worship, he uses the
sacred name Jehovah.
Thus it is Elohim who sees with displeasure the dis-
order introduced by the corruption of mankind, and
makes known his purpose to destroy them, but institutes
measures for preserving the various species of animals
by means of an ark to be built for this end (vi. 9-22).
It is Elohim agreeably to whose command creatures of
both sexes went in unto Noah into the ark (vii. 9, 16).
It is Elohim who remembered Noah and every living
thing that was with him in the ark, and who made a wind
pass over the earth to assuage the waters (viii. 1). It is
Elohim who bade Noah go forth of the ark, and bring
forth with him every living thing that they may mul-
tiply upon the earth (viii. 15-17). It is Elohim who
blessed Noah and his sons, as he had blessed man at his
creation (i. 28), bidding them Be fruitful, and multiply,
and replenish the earth (ix. 1). It is Elohim who estab-
lished his covenant with Noah and with every living
creature, pledging that there should be no flood in future
to destroy all flesh (ix. 8-17).
On the other hand, it is Jehovah (E. V., the LoRD), in
whose eyes Noah found grace (vi. 8), and who was re-
solved to put a sudden end to the downward progress of
growing wickedness which infected every imagination of
the thoughts of man's heart and threatened to banish
piety from the earth (vs. 5-7). It is Jehovah who bade
righteous Noah come with all his house into the ark,
90 THE GENERATIONS OF NOAH
and take with him animals fit for sacrifice in larger
numbers than the rest (vii. 1-3). It is Jehovah who shut
Noah in, after he had entered the ark (ver. 16), though in
the very same verse it is Elohim who commanded that
the beasts of both sexes should enter in. It is Jehovah
to whom Noah builds an altar and offers sacrifice, and
who graciously accepts the offering (vs. 20, 21).
It thus appears that the divine names are discrimi-
natingly employed throughout the entire narrative; there
are no superfluous repetitions, suggestive of a combina-
tion of distinct documents; there are serious gaps and
halting-places in each of the accounts, into which the
critics propose to divide the history of the deluge; and
in numerous instances the partition attempted is imprac-
ticable because it would sunder what is plainly indivis-
ible. It is further noteworthy that there is no pretence
of basing the critical partition of these chapters on di-
versity of diction. The scattered clauses assigned to J.
which have already been shown to be inseparable from
their contexts, have not even this poor pretext in their
favor. In fact ,there is scarcely more than three or four
words or phrases in all that is attributed to J in the entire
narrative of the deluge which is claimed elsewhere as
characteristic of that document; while there are several
phrases and forms of speech, as has been already pointed
out that are elsewhere held to be characteristic of P, not
to speak of the word "create" (vi. 7), which in ch. i. is
made a mark of P in distinction from J.
The attempt is made to create a variance between vi.
5 and ver. 12 by alleging that J attributes the flood to
the wickedness of man, but P to the corruption of "all
flesh," meaning thereby the entire animal creation as well
THE FLOOD (CH. VI. 9-IX. 17) 91
as man; and when P speaks of the earth being filled
with violence he refers not merely to human deeds
of violence and crime, but also to the rapacity and ferocity
of beasts which prey upon weaker animals instead of feed-
ing upon the herbage allowed them at their creation (i.
30). But the term "all flesh" has a wider or narrower
meaning as determined by the connection. When it is
said (vii. 21) that "all flesh died" in the flood, men and
animals are both intended. But vii. 15, "two and two of
all flesh went in unto Noah into the ark," has reference